SC reserves verdict in Tulsiram Prajapati encounter killing



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a plea for a CBI probe into Tulsiram Prajapati's killing by the Gujarat police who was stated to be an eyewitness in the fake encounter death of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi allegedly involving ex-Home Minister Amit Shah.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan reserved its judgement after hearing at length for three days CBI, Gujarat government, Shah and petitioner Narmada Bai's counsel.

Gujarat and Shah, through senior counsel Ranjit Kumar and Ram Jethmalani, oppposed CBI's taking over the case on the ground that the Centre was trying to implicate the former Home Minister and Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the encounter deaths.

However, senior counsel K T S Tulsi for CBI and Huzefi Ahamadi, for Narmada Bai, the mother of gangster Tulsiram Prajapati, justified the transfer plea as according to them the investigation by the Gujarat police was "biased" and Prajapati's killing was a sequel to the encounter deaths Sohrabuddin, an alleged extortionist, and his wife.

During the aruments when Tulsi tried to interrupt Jethmalani, the bench told the CBI counsel "you have to be a neutral agency. You need not show anxiety. Only the petitioner has a right to say anything."

It was alleged by CBI and the petitioner that Sohrabuddin, Kauser Bi and another person, suspected to be Prajapati, were picked up during a joint operation by the police of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh from a bus on their way from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra on November 22, 2005.

Sohrabuddin was gunned down in an encounter by the Gujarat police's Anti-Terrorist Squad. The policemen are also accused of killing Kauser Bi and Prajapati to destroy evidence.

The investigation in the case by CBI had stirred a political controversy after Shah was arrested and charged with killing Sohrabuddin and his wife.

PTI