Mumbai: In a huge relief to BJP president Amit Shah, a special CBI court in Mumbai on Tuesday discharged him from Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter killing cases, holding there existed "no case" against him and that he had been implicated for "political reasons".
"Amit Anilchandra Shah is discharged from the case," ruled special CBI judge MB Gosavi as he ordered dropping of the charges of murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy against the BJP chief embroiled in the fake encounter deaths of the two gangsters which had grabbed headlines for several years.
"I am of the opinion that the inference that the CBI has drawn is not accepted as the entire record when considered in totality there is no case against the applicant," the judge said discharging the 50-year-old leader from the case.
The court also agreed with the defence counsel SV Raju's contention that Shah was falsely implicated in the case for political motive.
"I also found substance in the main contention (of the defence) that Shah was shown to be involved in this case by CBI for political reasons," the judge observed.
Sohrabuddin, a gangster whom the Gujarat police claimed had links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat ATS from Hyderabad on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra.
Sohrabuddin was killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005 after which his wife disappeared and was believed to have been done to death.
Tulsiram, an aide of the gangster and an eyewitness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by police at Chapri village in Banaskantha district in Gujarat in December 2006.
Shah, who was then Minister of State for Home in Gujarat, was alleged to have plotted the killings with some police officers.
He was arrested by CBI in July 2010 and granted bail by the Supreme Court three months later on October 29 on the condition that he will not enter Gujarat.
The Sohrabuddin killing case was transferred to Mumbai in September 2012 at CBI's request for fair trial. In 2013, the Supreme Court had clubbed Tulsiram Prajapati's encounter killing case with that of Sohrabuddin.
In New Delhi, CBI said it will take a decision on whether to appeal against the Mumbai special court's order after studying it.
Asked whether the agency will file an appeal, CBI spokesperson said here, "We will study the order once we receive it and thereafter take an appropriate view."
Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh said he will challenge the order before the High Court.
He felt that CBI, which prosecuted the case, has been "sold out".