Mumbai : A special CBI court on Friday acquitted all 22 accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, citing unsatisfactory circumstantial evidence. Sohrabuddin was killed in Gujarat in 2005 by the state police, allegedly in a fake encounter, while his aide, Tulsiram Prajapati, died a year later in another alleged fake encounter.
In 2010, the CBI took over the case from the CID. Special CBI public prosecutor BP Raju submitted that most of the evidence was procured by the CBI. Raju also said that the trial was hampered because of 92 witnesses turning hostile.
The CBI had filed a charge sheet 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.
During Friday’s hearing, special CBI judge SJ Sharma, while delivering the judgement, said that the government machinery and prosecution brought 210 witnesses in the case, but they turned hostile during the course of the case. “No fault of Prosecutor if witnesses don’t speak,” he observed. Analysing the case, Sharma said although medical reports claimed that Sohrabuddin died of bullet injuries, evidence suggested that the present accused were not responsible for the crime.
“I felt sorry for the families of the deceased, but I could not find anything against these present accused. Legal process is based on evidence, which I could not find,” he said. Sharma also rejected reports of Prajapati’s abduction.