Court Closes Jaleel Andrabi Case

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SRINAGAR: A Srinagar court on Wednesday closed the case of advocate Jaleel Andrabi’s murder after the death of the prime accused, Major Avtar Singh of the Indian army, was officially confirmed.

Having been spirited away out of the country shortly after his involvement surfaced in the 1996 case, the major shot himself dead in the California state of the US after killing his wife and two small children in June last year.

The chief judicial magistrate hearing the Andrabi murder case had asked the state government to obtain concrete proof of Major Singh’s death.

Over the years, the court had issued several warrants of arrest against the army officer, asking the state and the central governments to get the major extradited back for trial.

The chief judicial magistrate Rajeev Gupta closed the case on the basis of a communiqué from the US National Crime Bureau in Washington handed over to the Kashmir police through Indian officers in the Interpol. 

The CJM said he was convinced that the accused, facing trial for killing Andrabi, had died on June 9, 2012. 

The certificate records the date of death and also confirms identity of the accused as recorded in the charge-sheet.

 Assistant Director CBI, NCB India and Interpol New Delhi had sent a communication to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Crime Branch (CB) Jammu and Kashmir informing that a copy of the death certificate was received from NCB Washington. 

The copy of death certificate was submitted by senior prosecuting officer of CB in the court. Singh was accused of kidnapping and killing prominent lawyer Andrabi in 1996. 

The 47-year-old had fled to the United States after the body of the lawyer was found floating in Jhelum river in March 1996, a few days after his arrest by a unit of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) led by Major Singh. 

A murder case was registered against the Major and others on the direction of High Court after family members of the late advocate alleged that the Government was covering up the murder. The case was pending trial before the court of CJM, Srinagar for over a decade as Singh could not be brought here despite warrants through Interpol. The court had directed extradition of the accused from US. 

 

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