Fake encounter: Supreme Court orders single trial for Amit Shah



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a major relief to former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, the Supreme Court on Monday said that there was no need for separate trials against him in connection with Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounters.

Delivering its verdict, the apex court said that the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati was a part of a single conspiracy, and also accepted Shah's contention for a single trial in both cases.

The Supreme Court passd its order in response to a plea move by Amit Shah against the CBI’s attempt to make him stand trial separately into the killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati in alleged fake encounters.

Shah, who is also believed to be a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, has accused the central probe agency of acting with a "malafide design" to seek his police custody again by filing a separate chargesheet in the Prajapati case.

Shah had earlier told the Supreme Court that both killings were "inter-connected" and an "integral part of the conspiracy hatched as a part of the same transaction." The CBI, however, took a contrary stand in its chargesheet in the Prajapati case, filed in November.

The probe agency claims that both case conspiracies were different.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat's Anti-Terrorism Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.

While Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by police at Chapri village in Banaskantha district in December 2006. Shah, who was the minister of state for Home in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, stepped down after his name surfaced in the allegedly staged encounter killings.

Shah was arrested by the CBI on July 25, 2010 and had spent over three months in Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad in connection with the Sohrabuddin case.

He is currently out on bail in the case. However, despite the serious allegations against him, Shah won the state assembly elections by a huge margin from the Naranpura constituency in December.

With Agency inputs