Sohrabuddin case verdict Live Updates: Court acquits all 22 accused, says no satisfactory evidence to prove conspiracy

By: |
New Delhi | Updated:Dec 21, 2018 1:16:36 pm

Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case verdict Live Updates: Earlier in December, Special judge for CBI cases S J Sharma had said he will pronounce the verdict on December 21 after the final arguments were wrapped up.

Sohrabuddin VERDICTSohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case verdict Live Updates: Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife

Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case verdict Live Updates: The special CBI court today acquitted all 22 policemen accused in the death of Sohrabuddin Shaikh. The Special judge for CBI cases S J Sharma said that evidence provided by the prosecution was not satisfactory and not enough to prove the any conspiracy in killings of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.  The court, located in Mumbai, also stated that circumstantial evidence is not substantial enough to prove a conspiracy. The judge also admitted that the prosecution did its job well, but with witnesses turning hostile and lack of sufficient evidence, the charge cannot be established.

The incident. The Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case has always hogged limelight due to its links with high-profile politicians. BJP president Amit Shah was also named as one of the accused but was discharged in 2014. The prolonged trial saw 92 prosecution witnesses turning hostile.

Earlier in December, Special judge for CBI cases S J Sharma had said he will pronounce the verdict on December 21 after the final arguments were wrapped up. Sixteen out of the 38 persons charge-sheeted by the CBI were discharged by the court for want of evidence. The list included Shah, the then Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande and former senior Gujarat police officer D G Vanzara.

Shaikh was reportedly killed in an alleged fake encounter on November 26, 2005 near Ahmedabad. After Shaikh was killed, his wife was killed three days later and her body was disposed of, the CBI said. A year later, on December 27, 2006, Prajapati was also shot dead by Gujarat and Rajasthan police in an alleged fake encounter near Chapri on Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

Read More

Live Blog

Sohrabuddin case verdict Live Updates

Highlights

    13:12 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: CBI judge says helpless

    Special CBI Judge SJ Sharma said, "I am helpless" while referring to witnesses turning hostile and proof not being satisfactory against the 22 accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh case

    13:10 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Developments so far

    November 22, 2005 - Sohrabuddin, Kausar Bi and Prajapati are intercepted by a police team in a bus while returning to Sangli from Hyderabad and taken into custody. Shaikh and his wife taken in one vehicle, Prajapati in another.

    November 22 to 25, 2005 - Shaikh and Kausar Bi kept in a farm house near Ahmedabad. Prajapati sent to Udaipur where he is lodged in the prison there to face trial in cases against him.

    November 26, 2005 - Shaikh killed in an alleged fake encounter allegedly by a joint team comprising Gujarat and Rajasthan police.

    November 29, 2005 - Kausar Bi also allegedly killed by the police, her body burnt and disposed of.

    December 27, 2006 - Prajapati taken from the Udaipur central prison by a team comprising Rajasthan and Gujarat police and allegedly killed in an encounter near Sarhad Chapri on Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

    April 30, 2007 - Gujarat government files a report before SC stating Kausar Bi is dead and her body burnt and disposed of.

    January 2010 - SC hands over the probe in the case to CBI.

    July 23, 2010 - CBI files chargesheet in the case against 38 persons including the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah, the then Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria and senior IPS officials.

    July 25, 2010 - CBI arrests Amit Shah in the case.

    October 8, 2010 - A special CBI court in Gujarat rejects Amit Shah's bail plea.

    October 29, 2010 - Gujarat High Court grants bail to Amit Shah on a bond of Rs one lakh.

    September 27, 2012 - SC transfers trial in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh-Kausar Bi alleged fake encounter case from Gujarat to Mumbai as sought by the CBI to ensure a fair trial.

    April 8, 2012 - SC clubs trial in Shaikh, Kausar Bi and Prajapati encounter cases.

    December 30, 2014 - A special CBI court in Mumbai discharges Amit Shah from the case. Fifteen other accused including Kataria and senior IPS officials also discharged subsequently.

    November 2015 - Shaikh's brother Rubabuddin approaches the Bombay High Court to challenge Amit Shah's discharge in the case. The same month, he tells the HC that he does not wish to pursue the case and withdraws his petition.

    17) December 2015 - Social activist Harsh Mander moves HCagainst Amit Shah's discharge.

    April 2016 - Bombay HC dismisses Mander's petition after observing that he has no 'locus standi' (not an aggrieved party) in the case. Mander files appeal in Supreme Court.

    August 2016 - SC rejects Mander's appeal.

    October 2017 - Special CBI court in Mumbai frames charges against 22 accused.

    November 2017 - Special CBI Judge S J Sharma commences trial in the case. Prosecution examines 210 witnesses, of which 92 turn hostile.

    September 2018 - Bombay HC upholds discharge granted to senior police officers D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, NK Amin, Vipul Aggarwal, Dinesh MN and Dalpat Singh Rathod.

    November 23, 2018 - Court completes examination of witnesses and recording of statements of the accused persons under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

    December 5, 2018 - Court closes the case for judgment on December 21, 2018 after completion of final arguments by prosecution and defence lawyers.

    December 21, 2018 - Court acquits all 22 accused in the case after observing that proseuction failed to establish charges against them.

    12:36 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Brief summary of CBI judgement today

    A special CBI court today acquitted 22 persons accused in the alleged fake encounter killings of gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his associate Tulsi Prajapati. Special CBI Judge S J Sharma ruled the prosecution has failed to put forth any 'documentary and substantive evidence' to suggest or establish the alleged conspiracy. Of the accused, 21 are junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan. The other was the owner of a farm house in Gujarat where Shaikh and Kausar Bi were illegally detained before they were allegedly killed.

    12:16 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Court acquits 22 cops

    All 22 policemen, who were named as accused, have been acquitted by the special CBI court

    12:15 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: CBI court judge reading out verdict

    Special CBI Court said government machinery and prosecution put in a lot of effort, 210 witnesses were brought but satisfactory evidence didn't come and witnesses turned hostile. No fault of prosecutor if witnesses don't speak.

    12:08 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Judge pronouncing judgement

    Special CBI judge has stated in his order that all the witnesses and proofs are not satisfactory to prove conspiracy and murder, the court also observed that circumstantial evidence is not substantial. Allegation that Tulsiram Prajapati was murdered through a conspiracy is not true, the court said.

    11:24 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Mysterious case of Justice Loya

    Special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014 when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter. The Supreme Court had dismissed a plea seeking review of its April 19 verdict that had held that had Loya died of "natural causes" on December 1, 2014 and had rejected PILs seeking an SIT probe into the death, questioning their motive.

    11:20 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Timeline of events

    November 22-23, 2005: Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar and aide Tulsi Prajapati were allegedly picked up by Gujarat Police from Sangli in Maharashtra, while on their way from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad by bus.

    November 26, 2005: Sohrabuddin was allegedly shot in a fake encounter.

    November 28, 2005: Kauser killed.

    December 28, 2006: Prajapati killed in Chapri village.

    January, 2010: Supreme Court hands over case to CBI.

    July 23, 2010: CBI chargesheets Shah as accused.

    Jul 25, 2010: CBI arrests Shah.

    October 29, 2010: Gujarat High Court grants bail to Shah.

    September 27, 2012: Supreme Court transfers trial from Gujarat to Mumbai.

    April 8, 2013: Supreme Court clubs Prajapati case with Sohrabuddin case.

    December 30, 2014: Mumbai sessions court gives clean chit to Shah in the case.

    July, 2016: Petition in Supreme Court challenging the order of the Bombay High Court upholding the discharge Shah in the case.

    10:31 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Who is the judge

    After the final arguments were wrapped up earlier this month, Special judge for CBI cases S J Sharma had said he will pronounce the verdict on December 21. Most of the accused are junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan.

    10:04 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Probe officer suspended

    Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rajnish Rai, who had arrested D G Vanzara and two other IPS officers in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case in 2007, has been suspended by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for allegedly "abdicating" his office as the IG and Principal of CRPF training school at Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. Rai was serving as inspector general and principal of the Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism (CIAT) School of the Central Reserve Police Force.

    10:00 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: CBI's version

    According to the CBI, Shaikh, an alleged gangster with terror links, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Prajapati were abducted by Gujarat police from a bus when they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on the night of November 22 and 23, 2005.

    09:58 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict Live: Relief for Amit Shah, Kataria

    The court earlier discharged, for want of evidence, 16 of the 38 persons charge-sheeted by the CBI. These included Amit Shah, the then Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande and former senior Gujarat police officer D G Vanzara.

    09:51 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict: Pleas in court

    Even as the trial has wound down to a close, two prosecution witnesses applied to the court Wednesday that they be re-examined. One of them, Azam Khan, an aide of Shaikh, claimed in his plea that accused Abdul Rehman, a former police inspector who had allegedly fired on Shaikh, threatened Khan that if he did not depose as told, he would be framed up in false cases. His wife was also threatened, Khan claimed. Another witness, Mahendra Zala, a petrol pump owner, has alleged that the prosecution did not furnish to the court his statement recorded before a magistrate. The court will decide both pleas Friday, according to PTI.

    09:46 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict: Probe by CID, CBI

    The case was initially probed by the Gujarat CID before the CBI took over in 2010. The Supreme Court in 2013 directed that the trial be shifted to Mumbai from Gujarat on the central agency's request to ensure a fair trial. The prosecution examined 210 witnesses, of which 92 turned hostile.

    09:45 (IST)21 Dec 2018
    Sohrabuddin case verdict: Timeline of incidents

    Shaikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter on November 26, 2005 near Ahmedabad. His wife was killed three days later and her body was disposed of, the CBI said. A year later, on December 27, 2006, Prajapati was also shot dead by Gujarat and Rajasthan police in an alleged fake encounter near Chapri on Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

    Most of the accused among policemen are junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan. The case was initially probed by the Gujarat CID before the CBI took over in 2010. The Supreme Court in 2013 directed that the trial be shifted to Mumbai from Gujarat on the central agency's request to ensure a fair trial.