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CBI given 2 weeks more time to finish probe in Prajapati case

Published: 20th July 2012 01:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2012 01:16 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

The Supreme Court today granted two weeks more time to CBI to complete its probe in the alleged encounter killing of Tulsiram Prajapati, an eyewitness to the 'fake encounter' of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar made it clear that no more extension would be given to the agency to complete the probe and directed it to do so by August 14.

The apex court had earlier directed the agency to complete its investigation by July 30.

The court had ordered the CBI probe in April 2011 on an appeal by Tulsiram Prajapati's mother Narmada Bai, who had alleged that her son was killed by the Gujarat Police in a staged gun battle because he was a key eyewitness in the November 2005 killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi.

The court on July 13 had refused to review its order directing CBI probe in the murder case, on the plea of the Gujarat Government.

The CBI probe into the case had led to former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah's arrest for his alleged role in the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife.

The apex court, while dismissing the plea of the Gujarat Government, had said the petitioner had made out a strong case for the transfer of investigation to the CBI as there was strong suspicion about the involvement of police personnel from three states -- Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The bench, however, had clarified that the observations made by it in its judgement should not influence the trial court judge, dealing with the case.

It had also criticised the tardy probe by the Gujarat Police into the killings, in which, besides politicians, top police officials too were allegedly involved.

The bench had regretted that the state police took more than three and a half years to file the charge sheet in the case.

The Gujarat government along with its former minister Shah had opposed transfer of the case to the CBI, contending that the Centre was trying to implicate the state's former minister and its Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the encounter killings.

Senior counsel K T S Tulsi, appearing for the CBI and Huzefi Ahamadi, who represented Narmada Bai, had justified the transfer plea saying the investigation by the Gujarat Police was "biased" and Prajapati's killing was a sequel to the encounter deaths of Sohrabuddin, an alleged extortionist, and his wife.

The CBI had alleged that Sohrabuddin, Kauser Bi and another person, suspected to be Prajapati, were picked up by a team of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh Police in a joint operation from a bus on its way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on November 22, 2005.

Sohrabuddin was allegedly gunned down in an encounter by the Gujarat Police's Anti-Terrorist Squad. The policemen are also accused of killing Kauser Bi and Prajapati to destroy evidence.

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