Arijit Sen

In a major relief to BJP President Amit Shah, a special CBI court on Tuesday discharged him in the case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter killing in 2005.”I am of the opinion that the inference drawn by CBI is not accepted in totality and he (Shah) cannot be charged as an accused,” Special CBI Judge MB Gosavi said in a brief order pronounced in the court. Details of the judgement will be available later.The CBI had charged Shah, the then Minister of State for Home in Gujarat, as an accused in the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, who was said to have been an eyewitness to the encounter. The CBI had cited some telephone calls between Shah and two other accused in its case against Shah. CBI had charge-sheeted 37 accused including Shah, who was Minister of State for Home of Gujarat when these encounters had taken place, and several police officers in the two cases. Shah was accused of being party to the conspiracy. Some of the accused, including Shah and former IPS officers of Gujarat DG Vanzara and Rajkumar Pandian, have being granted bail.Shah had sought permanent exemption but the court granted him exemption only till the charges are framed, a stage which is followed by commencement of trial.Special judge BS Loya on Monday, also allowed the plea of Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin, the complainant, to provide an English translation of the charge sheet. Adjourning the hearing to November 21, the court asked CBI to supply him an English copy.According to CBI, Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi were abducted by the Gujarat police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad in November 2005 and killed in a staged encounter near Gandhinagar. Sohrabuddin is alleged to have demanded protection money from a businessman prior to his death.Further, CBI says, Tulsiram Prajapati, an eyewitness to the fake encounter, was also killed by the police in another fake encounter at Chapri village in Banaskantha district of Gujarat in December 2006. Both cases are being heard simultaneously in the Mumbai Court.Taking into account the alleged threat to witnesses, the Supreme Court had transferred the trial of the case from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.


Amit Shah discharged in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case