Prajapati encounter: Court allows registration of chargesheet



Danta: A local court today allowed registration of a charge sheet filed by CBI against 20 accused including former Gujarat minister Amit Shah in the 2006 Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case.

Amit Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, is among 20 people named by the CBI in its charge sheet, filed last Tuesday in the Prajapati fake encounter case for allegedly entering into criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.

Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Geeta Aahir in her order today said, "The final registration of the charge sheet will be subject to the outcome of the application filed by the accused raising the issue of jurisdiction and competency."

"If this court holds that it has the jurisdiction, then further proceedings will be taken. And if the court decides that it does not have the jurisdiction, then the CBI will be asked to take back the charge sheet," court stated further.

An accused in this case and IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, through his advocate Mitesh Amin had objected the filing of charge sheet in Danta, Sabarkantha court instead of in the special CBI court, Ahmedabad where an FIR of this case was filed by the CBI.

Today, court ordered the Registrar of the court to take on record the charge sheet and all documents submitted to it by investigating officer of the case Sandip Tamgadhe on September 4, 2012.

The issue of jurisdiction was still pending before the court to be decided and the court has asked the counsel for CBI and Pandian to remain present on September 15, when the hearing will take place.

Meanwhile, retired ADGP and the then head of CID crime O P Mathur, who had also been named in the charge sheet, has submitted an application raising the issue of competency and also with the demand to drop charges against him.

"We strongly believe that under the provisions of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (through which, CBI derives its powers to investigate cases), this court is not competent to register a charge sheet of the case, in which an FIR is filed in different court by the CBI," said advocate V D Gajjar, who appeared for Mathur.

In his application, Mathur has also claimed, "As the court (in Danta) has already registered the charge sheet without jurisdiction, as per the provisions of the CrPC, it has no other option but to drop the charge sheet."

The court will also hear his application on September 15.

Prajapati, an eyewitness in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encouter case, was allegedly killed in fake encounter by Gujarat police at Chhapri in Banaskantha district on December 28, 2006.

Former state police chief P C Pande, IPS officers O P Mathur, D G Vanzara and Geetha Johri and Dy SP R K Patel were also also named in the charge sheet submitted in the court of judicial magistrate D R Joshi at Danta in Banaskantha district.

PTI