A CBI court here today reprimanded the counsel of former Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah for seeking yet another exemption for his client without assigning any reason for the BJP leader's non-appearance in connection with the 2006 Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case. "Every time you are giving an exemption application without assigning any reason," said special CBI judge JT Utpat after CBI counsel BP Raju opposed Shah's exemption application.
However, the court allowed his exemption application and fixed the next date of hearing on July 4. Earlier, on June 6, the court had allowed the exemption plea of Shah and postponed the hearing till today. Shah in his exemption application today said he could not attend the court hearing as he was in Delhi. "Shah is engaged in political work in New Delhi and therefore not about to come to court," read his application filed by his lawyer Robin Mogera.
The court is also likely to pass an order on the discharge application filed by Shah on June 25. The court had on May 9 issued summons to Shah and other accused in the case, which was transferred from Gujarat to Mumbai this year. The CBI had charge-sheeted Shah and 18 others, including several police officers, in the case in September 2013.
According to CBI, gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, claimed to have links to Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, and his wife Kauser Bi were abducted by Gujarat's Anti-Terrorism Squad when they were on way from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra and killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005. Tulsiram Prajapati, an eye-witness to the encounter, was killed by police at Chapri village in Banaskantha district of Gujarat in December 2006. Shah, who was then Minister of State for Home was allegedly involved in the conspiracy behind both the incidents.
READ ALSO: The importance of being Amit Shah
With stories on the Indian elections dominating the headlines, a piece of news that appeared on the front pages of most dailies in Ahmedabad went unnoticed. Abhay Chudasama, one of the first few IPS officers to go behind bars in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in 2010 was released on bail.
Chudasama , a Gujarat cadre IPS officer, created a furore after the CBI arrested him in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case in an investigation being monitored by the Supreme Court. Within months of his arrest in Gujarat, the investigating agency went on to arrest Amit Shah on charges of murder, conspiracy, kidnapping and extortion. This was the first instance in the history of independent India that a serving home minister had been arrested. Read more