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The Special CBI Court today acquitted all the accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh Fake Encounter case. The verdict was pronounced a few minutes back.
The Special CBI Judge SJ Sharma observed that there was no substantial evidence to prove the charges of conspiracy and alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati and the murder of Sheikh’s wife Kausar Bi.
The Court also noted that circumstantial evidence could not establish that this was a case of fake encounter. The Court further observed that the CBI produced as many as 210 witnesses and tried its best to prove the case.
A total of 210 witnesses were examined during the course of the trial. As many as 92 witnesses turned hostile. The Court had reserved its verdict in the matter earlier this month
The case of these alleged fake encounters was taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in 2010. It was submitted by the Special CBI Public Prosecutor BP Raju that most of the evidence placed on record was procured by the CBI during its probe. Raju also argued that the trial was significantly hampered on account of a large number of witnesses turning hostile.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in 2005, allegedly by the Gujarat Police and the murder of his wife took place a few days thereafter. Sheikh’s associate Tulsiram Prajapati’s death in 2006 was also a result of an alleged extra-judicial killing by the Gujarat Police.
The CBI had filed a chargesheet in 2012 which had named BJP President Amit Shah and former Rajasthan Home Minister and BJP Leader Gulab Chand Kataria as accused in the case.
Out of a total of 38 accused persons in the Chargesheet, 16 were discharged and only 22 accused remained. Amit Shah, Kataria and former cop from Gujarat, DG Vanzara were some of the accused persons to be discharged in the case.
The judgment was rendered just days before Judge SJ Sharma’s tenure comes to an end.