December 21, 2018:
On Friday, a special CBI court in Mumbai said there is not enough proof to prove murder and has acquitted all 22 accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
A total of 22 people, mostly junior officers of the Gujarat & Rajasthan police, were on trial for killing Sheikh, a gangster with alleged terror links, in an alleged fake encounter in Nov 2005.
His wife Kausar Bi was also killed that month and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati shot dead in another encounter by the Gujarat & Rajasthan police in Dec 2006.
The prosecution examined 210 witnesses, of which 92 turned hostile.
After the final arguments were wrapped up earlier this month, Special judge for CBI cases S J Sharma had said he will pronounce the verdict on Dec 21.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the case in 2010, had filed a case against 38 people, including then Gujarat home minister (and now BJP president Amit Shah) and senior Gujarat & Rajasthan police officials.
However, a special court in Mumbai, where the case was shifted from Gujarat following a Supreme Court order in 2013, had discharged 16 of them, including Amit Shah and senior police officers like Gujarat police chief PC Pande and anti-terror squad chief DG Vanzara.
The Bombay HC had later rejected the petition of Sheikh’s brother Rubabuddin against the discharge of Vanzara and four other police officers.