Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Tuesday held that the special CBI court here is competent to take cognisance of chargesheet filed by the investigating agency in the fake encounter case of Tulsi Prajapati.

The court criticised the CBI for deviating from the judicial tradition by filing the chargesheet in the case before the Danta Court in Banaskantha, which had become a major issue after the accused in the case had objected to it, citing jurisdiction issue.

Justice R S Shukla, while setting aside the order of the Danta Court to take cognisance of the chargesheet, also directed it to allow CBI to take all the papers filed along with the charge sheet and present it before the CBI court here.

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

Five accused who were named in the charge sheet, including ex-DGP P C Pande and ADGP Geeta Johri, had challenged the September 18 order of the JMFC, Danta, which had accepted the chargesheet filed by CBI saying that it was the competent court to take its cognisance.

Criticising the CBI, the judge said, "High Court and state of Gujarat have formed two special CBI courts by issuing notification on January 11, 2002 and since then a series of cases which have been investigated by the agency are filed in these two courts.

"In this particular case (Tulsi Prajapati), CBI has conveniently preferred to file chargesheet in Danta court, whereas the agency has registered the FIR in the same special CBI court here," the court observed.

When the probing agency is aware of the judicial tradition of special CBI court's jurisdiction, the High Court is wondering how it filed the chargesheet in Danta court, the court observed.

Advocate Mukul Sinha, appearing for Tulsi's mother Narmada Bai Prajapati, had also supported the prayer of the accused by telling the court that Danta Court does not have jurisdiction to take cognisance of the charge sheet.

Prajapati, a witness of the abduction and subsequent killing of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kauser Bi, was killed in a fake encounter allegedly by Gujarat Police at Chhapri, near the temple town of Ambaji in Banaskantha, on December 28, 2006.

JPN/Agencies

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