Ahmedabad/Danta: Former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was among 20 people named by the CBI in its charge sheet in the Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case for allegedly entering into criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.

Former state police chief PC Pande, IPS officers OP Mathur, DG Vanzara and Geetha Johri and Dy SP RK Patel were also named in the chargesheet submitted in the court of judicial magistrate D R Joshi at Danta in Banaskantha district.

The three senior IPS officers named in the chargesheet included two who retired.

The chargesheet, however, was not taken on record by the court due to question of jurisdiction.

The court will decide in the matter after conducting hearing next Monday.

Prajapati, an eye witness in the encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, was killed in fake encounter allegedly by Gujarat police at Chhapri, in Banaskantha district on December 28, 2006.

 

What is Sohrabuddin/Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case?


•    Sohrabuddin, an underworld don, was killed on the near Ahmedabad in November 2005, in an alleged fake encounter by Gujarat and Rajasthan Police. Two days later, Sohrabuddin’s wife was also killed by the police

•    Tulsi Prajapati was an eye witness in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case

•    Prajapati was killed on December 28, 2006 in an alleged fake encounter by Gujarat police

•    Three IPS officers of Gujarat police- DG Vanjara, Rajkumar Pandian and Rajasthan's Dinesh MN- were arrested in July 2007 for their alleged involvement in
Sohrabuddin fake encounter case

•    The Supreme Court handed over the Shohrabuddin case to CBI in January 2010

•    Amit Shah, Gujarat’s  former Minister of State for Home and trusted lieutenant of CM Narendra Modi, was arrested in July 2010 for hatching conspiracy to kill Sohrabuddin, a notorious underworld criminal

•    Shah spent in Sabarmati jail for three months  

•    Special CBI Court rejected Amit Shah’s bail plea in September 2010

•    Shah walked out of jail on October 29, 2010 after being granted bail by Gujarat HC

•    Amit Shah and 20 others were named by the CBI in its charge sheet in the Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case

In a major blow to the ruling BJP, Shah, who was arrested by the CBI in the Sheikh encounter case in 2010, has now been charged in the second fake encounter case of Prajapati for murder, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence as also under the provisions of Arms Act.

Shah is out on bail in the Sheikh encounter case but has been barred from entering Gujarat by the Supreme Court.

Former DGP Pande, who was widely criticised for his role as police commissioner of  Ahmedabad during the 2002 riots, has also been made accused in the Prajapati case. Pande was chief of state police when the encounter took place in 2006.

Mathur, retired ADGP who was then (in 2006) heading CID crime and the then IGP CID crime Johri, who was heading investigation in the Sheikh case, have also been booked as accused in the case.

Mathur currently heads Raksha Shakti University of the state government, while Johri is managing director of Gujarat Police Housing Corporation.

The other two who have been added by the CBI in its charge sheet includes retired DySP Patel, Investigating Officer of Tulsi encounter case and Rajasthan Police inspector Abdul Rehman.

In its charge sheet, the CBI has also retained names of 14 police officers including four IPS officers Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, Dinesh M N and Vipul Agarwal, who were earlier made accused in the same case by state CID.

As the CBI was about to begin the process of registration of the charge sheet, advocate Mitesh Amin on behalf of IPS officer Pandian, one of the accused in the case, objected to the filing of same on grounds of jurisdiction.

"We gave an application opposing the filing of charge sheet in this court on the grounds that none other than special CBI court has jurisdiction over the case which is probed by the agency and this is not the competent court to take cognisance of the charge sheet," said Amin.

"Even in the order of Supreme Court, it is specifically mentioned that this case should be proceeded in the special CBI court," he argued, adding that the only court which could take cognisance of the charge sheet was the one where FIR was filed.

Opposing his argument, advocate for CBI Ejaz Khan, contended that filing of the charge sheet is a procedural aspect.

"Accused have no right in deciding in which court charge sheet should be filed," he said.

The judge then adjourned the proceedings till Monday when he would decide whether the charge sheet could be filed in his court or the special CBI court in Ahmedabad.

The court further said that the charge sheet and all relevant documents will remain in its safe custody in sealed cover till the final decision on the issue of jurisdiction is taken.

JPN/Agencies

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