Police officers in Prajapati case move Gujarat HC

Geetha Johri and three other police officers figure as accused in the 2006 Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case.

Ahmedabad: Geetha Johri and three other police officers who figure as accused in the 2006 Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case on Friday moved the Gujarat High Court challenging the Danta court`s jurisdiction to accept the chargesheet.

Of the 20 accused named in the CBI chargesheet, Johri, RK Patel, Rajkumar Pandian and PC Pande have filed the petition in the High Court. It may come up for hearing before Justice RH Shukla on September 24.

Danta Judicial Magistrate Geeta Ahir on September 18 held that her court was competent to take cognizance of the chargesheet filed by CBI on September 4.

The magistrate rejected the applications filed by these police officers who argued that chargesheet should have been filed in the Special CBI court in Ahmedabad, where the CBI had filed FIR of the case in April 2011.

Prajapati, a witness of the abduction and subsequent killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kauser Bi, was himself killed in a fake encounter, allegedly by Gujarat Police, at Chhapri in Banaskantha district on December 28, 2006.

CBI chargesheet says that Amit Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the then minister of state for home in Gujarat, was the "kingpin" of the conspiracy to eliminate Prajapati. He, along with 17 others including Johri, Pandian, Vanzara, has been charged with murder, conspiracy, destruction of the evidence, etc.

Police officers O P Mathur and R K Patel have been charged only for criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and dereliction of duty, but not murder.