Mumbai's special CBI court on Tuesday discharged Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah and dropped all charges against him in the alleged Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
Shah was accused of perpetrating the alleged fake encounters of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and the key eyewitness Tulsiram Prajapati. While Sohrabuddin and his wife were killed near Gandhinagar in 2005, Prajapati was killed in December 2006 at Chapri village in Gujarat.
At the time Gujarat police carried out both the encounters, Shah was the Minister of State for Home.
The special CBI court gave clean chit to Shah after hearing the discharge plea he had submitted. In the plea he had claimed that CBI, investigating the alleged fake encounter case, had presumed that Prajapati was the third person travelling along with the other two victims.
"In the entire chargesheet in the case of Tulsiram's investigation, the applicant (Shah) is implicated in the said offence only on a presumption that the applicant is involved in Sohrabuddin-Kauserbi offence," The Indian Express cited an excerpt from the plea.
He also contended that if Prajapati had been the eyewitness then he would have been killed along with Kauserbi, who was also an eyewitness to Sohrabuddin's encounter case.
"First, it is the case of the CBI that Sohrabuddin was killed in encounter and subsequently Kauserbi was killed by the accused police officers since she was a witness. There is nothing on record to suggest as to why Tulsiram could also not have been killed like Kauserbi when he was also an eyewitness as per the CBI and was very much with the accused police officers," the application read.
Shah also claimed in his plea that the CBI only checked the call data records between November 2005 and December 2006, when the alleged encounters took place.
Citing these calls records between Shah and police officers, CBI alleged that calls were "unnatural, uncommon and not part of common, regular and routine course of official business". However, Shah contended that CBI should have analysed the call records two years before and two years after the alleged fake encounters.
The CBI had started investigating the case in 2010 and booked Shah along with 18 others, including police officers, in September 2013. The case was being heard in Gujarat until it was transferred to Mumbai in 2012.
The police accused in the alleged fake encounter claimed that Sohrabuddin had links with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and was planning assassination of prominent political leaders including Narendra Modi, who was then Chief Minister of Gujarat.