A special CBI court on Friday acquitted all the accused in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh citing insufficient evidence. CBI Judge SJ Sharma while pronouncing the judgement said that all the witnesses and evidence were not satisfactory to prove conspiracy and murder.
Sharma, who was reading out his last judgement before retirement, referred to the long list of witnesses who turned hostile during the long-drawn proceedings. “I am helpless,” he said, adding that the government machinery and prosecution had put in a lot of effort.
“210 witnesses were brought but satisfactory evidence didn’t come and witnesses turned hostile. No fault of the prosecutors if witnesses don’t speak,” the CBI judge said. Sharma further said that the court felt sorry for the families of Sohrabuddin Shaikh as three lives were lost. But the system demands that the court go solely by evidence, he added.
The case was initially investigated by the Gujarat CID but later it was transferred to the CBI in 2010. The central probe agency had charged 38 people including the then Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, the then Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria, IPS officer DG Vanzara for their alleged involvement in the killings of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Tulsi Prajapati.
The CBI court later discharged Amit Shah, Gulabchand Kataria and DG Vanzara due to lack of evidence against them. The agencies had produced 210 witnesses of which 92 turned hostile.
Delivering the verdict today, the CBI Judge said the prosecution had failed to establish that there was any conspiracy to kill the three people. He further said: “…Going by the evidence on record, the court could not conclude that the present accused persons could be questioned, or, held accountable for those deaths.”