In yet another major decision, a special CBI court acquitted all 22 accused of the 2005 alleged fake encounters of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi.
It turned out that while 21 accused were junior-level police officials from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, one was the owner of the farmhouse where Sheikh and his wife were held before the alleged murders.
The accused were additionally also acquitted on charges of being involved in the 2006 alleged staged encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati, Sheikh’s associate and a witness to his alleged abduction.
According to special CBI Judge S J Sharma, the prosecution failed to put forth any “documentary and substantive evidence” to suggest or establish the alleged conspiracy.
The trial in the case commenced last December. Over the last year, 210 witnesses deposed, among whom 92 turned hostile.
The case was transferred to a city court in 2012 following a Supreme Court order in 2010. Over the years, of the 38 accused booked initially, 16 including BJP president Amit Shah were discharged in the case.>