Court Erases 'Encounter' Blot on Shah

Published: 31st December 2014 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st December 2014 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

Amit-Shah

MUMBAI: After almost nine years of carrying a stigma on his political career for alleged involvement in the fake encounter of a Gujarat gangster, BJP president Amit Shah was on Tuesday discharged from the case due to lack of evidence by a special CBI court here.

The CBI had charged him with hatching a conspiracy to kill gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and eyewitness to their killings Tulsiram Prajapati in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The CBI court accepted Shah’s discharge application which argued that there was no evidence against him in the case. The Gujarat Police had carried out Sohrabuddin’s encounter in November 2005 and Prajapati’s in December 2006. Shah, who was Minister of State for Home in Gujarat then, had sought discharge saying he was being targeted by political rivals.

Special CBI Judge M B Gosavi said, “I am of the opinion that the inference that the CBI has drawn is not accepted. The entire record when considered in totality shows there is no case against the applicant (Shah).”

Sohrabuddin’s brother said he will challenge the CBI court decision in a higher court.

During the hearing, CBI counsel S V Raju said the agency was in 2010 asked to carry out investigation into the  Sohrabuddin case. He said if the accused gives an explanation on the charges against him and if two views are possible in a case, he can be discharged.

Shah’s counsel said there was no direct evidence against him and claimed that there was no proof to show that Shah met any co-accused or telephoned only those police officers accused in the case. He contented that the CBI has not denied that as Home Minister, Shah would call police officers on the field as was his practice. The counsel said the CBI relied on call data of only the time frame when the alleged encounters took place in 2005 and 2006 and not before and after.

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