Gujarat's former minister of state for home Amit Shah on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a separate charge-sheet in Tulsiram Prajapti staged shoot-out case just to take him into custody again.
"It is whole perfidy of the CBI that after taking over the investigation (from the Gujarat Police) it is saying that two (Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapti) are separate cases with a sinister motive of to get me arrested again," Amit Shah told a bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan.
Appearing for Shah, senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani told the court that all though the CBI has parroted the theory of a "larger conspiracy" - that staged killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, continued with that of his wife Kausarbi, and culminating in the killing of Tulsiram Prajapti - were a part of same transaction but now it was doing a somersault.
"The larger conspiracy was the umbrella for the CBI for taking over investigation in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter case and now it could not take contrary stand and file a separate charge-sheet," he argued.
Contending that the charge-sheet in Prajapati case should be treated as a supplementary charge-sheet in Sohrabuddin case being tried in Mumbai, Jethmalani said: "It is perplexing and intriguing that they (CBI) should take a contrary stand and it shows malafide."
To buttress his point, Jethmalani recalled the September 27, 2012, order of an apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjuana Prakash Desai, wherein taking note of the CBI plea that the two killings were closely connected, said: "...to avoid any miscarriage of justice, both the cases can only be tried before the same court".
The bench said that the CBI could make an application for transfer of the Prajapati case also to the same court where the Sohrabuddin case is transferred, as it transferred the trial in Sohrabuddin case from Gujarat to Mumbai.
Assailing the CBI stand that charge-sheet in Prajapti case was being filed separately because the motive behind the two staged shoot-outs were different, Jethmalani said: "Simply because you have different motive that you separate two cases and forget your own case that it was a part of larger conspiracy and same transaction."
The apex court October 18, 2012, had stayed all proceedings against Amit Shah before the Ahmedabad CBI court in the Prajapati case.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed by Gujarat Police Nov 26, 2005 and his wife Kausarbi was killed nov 29, 2005. Prajapati was killed December 28, 2006.
The CBI had said that Prajapati was the sole witness of the abduction of Sohrabuddin and his wife by Gujarat Police and was eliminated when it became apparent that he would be questioned in the abduction of Sheikh and his wife.