The CBI probed the alleged fake encounter killings of gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Tulsi Prajapati with a 'pre-conceived and premeditated' theory to implicate political leaders, a special CBI court has said. Special CBI Judge S J Sharma made the remarks in a 350-pages judgement on December 21, while acquitting all the 22 accused in the case. The court acquitted the accused due to insufficient evidence and expressed sorrow over the loss of "three lives." While the judgement copy was unavailable Friday, media was given access to portions of the judgement. The order said the CBI, during its probe into the case, was doing something other than arriving at the truth of the offences in question. "It clearly appears that the CBI was more concerned in establishing a particular pre-conceived and premeditated theory rather than finding out the truth," the judgement said.
It said the CBI did what was required to reach that 'goal' instead of conducting a probe in accordance with law. The court noted that there was negligence on part of the CBI towards material evidence which clearly indicated that the agency "hurriedly" completed the investigation. The judge said he is not oblivious to the agony and frustration caused to the families of the deceased persons and to the society in general when a crime of such a serious nature goes unpunished. The court noted that there is 'regret' that three persons were killed, which was going unpunished. It added that it has no option but to conclude that the accused are not guilty. The order said there was no evidence to prove CBI's theory that the three deceased were abducted by a police team.
"The CBI has also failed to establish presence of the accused police personnel at the spot of the alleged incident," the order said, adding that no witness was examined to show that the policemen were issued service weapons. Of the 22 accused, 21 were junior police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan, who the CBI said were part of teams which abducted and killed the three in staged encounters. The court said there was nothing to show if service weapons of the accused policemen were used in the killings. The three victims who were returning to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad in a bus were taken into custody by a police team on the night of November 22-23, 2005. The couple were taken in one vehicle and Prajapati in another.
CBI said Shaikh was killed on November 26, 2005, allegedly by a joint team comprising Gujarat and Rajasthan police, and Kausar Bi three days later. Prajapati, who was lodged in an Udaipur central jail, was killed in an encounter on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border on December 27, 2006. The CBI had charged 38 persons, including Shah, who was then Gujarat home minister, Gulabchand Kataria, the then Rajasthan home minister, and senior IPS officers like D G Vanzara and P C Pande. The prosecution examined 210 witnesses, of which 92 turned hostile. Before the December 21 verdict, 16 people, including Shah, Kataria, Vanzara and Pande were discharged by the CBI court due to lack of evidence. Shah was arrested in the case in July 2010, but released on bail by Gujarat High Court in October 2010. He was discharged by CBI court in December 2014.