The CBI on Friday filed chargesheet against Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, a close aide of Narendra Modi, and 14 others in connection with the fake encounter of Sohrabbuddin Sheikh and the "brutual killing" of his wife, Kausarbi.
The chargesheet filed in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A Y Dave names Shah besides DIG D G Vanzara, SPs Rajkumar Pandian and M N Dinesh and DSPs M L Parmar and N K Amin among others.
"The chargsheet has been filed under IPC Sections 120-B(conspiracy) read with 342 (wrongful confinement), 364 (kidnapping and abducting to murder), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person) and 368 (keeping in confinement kidnapped or abducted person).
The other Sections are 384 (extortion), 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of valuable evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offenders) in the fake encounter of Sohrabbuddin and brutally killing of his wife, CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said in a statement.
He added, "These accused persons are DIG of Police; two SPs, two DSPs, three Police Inspectors, three Sub-Inspectors, DCP, Ahmedabad Crime (arrested and added by CBI), Minister of State (Home), Gujarat (added during investigation by CBI, not arrested), Chairman, ADC Bank (added during investigation by CBI, not arrested and Director ADC Bank (added during investigation by CBI, not arrested)."
Bhal said, "The Minister of State for Home (Government of Gujarat) was issued summons for his appearance before the CBI on July 22 and July 23. He did not appear and hence charge sheet was filed without his examination." He said CBI has made a prayer to Court to keep investigation open for probing further into the larger conspiracy.
46-year-old Shah, who was to appear before the CBI today for questioning in the 2005 case had sent his lawyer, Mitesh Amin, who demanded more time and a questionnaire. Both requests were rejected by the investigating agency. CBI sent teams to locate Shah, while his lawyer moved the court for anticipatory bail.
Bhal said the CBI has not found adequate evidence against three accused, constables Ajay Parmar and Sant Ram Sharma of ATS, Ahmedabad and B A Rathore, Inspector, ATS, Ahmedabad, who were earlier sent for trial. CBI, therefore, did not include them in its charge sheet. On November 24, 2005, Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausarbi and one Prajapati Tulsi were abducted from a bus stand in Gujarat.
Two days later, Sohrabuddin was allegedly killed by a joint police team from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kausarbi was also allegedly killed later but her body was never found. Tulsi, the sole witness, too was killed in a fake encounter a year later.
The CBI has filed the chargesheet within the stipulated period of 90 days after effecting the arrest of one of the accused. The Supreme Court had given directions to the CBI to submit its report within six months from the date of handing over the case. The Supreme Court of India had directed the CBI to look into all aspects of killing of Sohrabbuddin, Kausarbi and also to look into the larger conspiracy.
CBI had registered a case on February 1, 2010. Prior to registration of this case by the CBI, the CID Crime Gujarat had filed a charge sheet in the Court against 13 accused persons.
"One more person was arraigned as accused on the application of a DSP and DIG of Gujarat police. During the course of investigation, CBI had examined 278 witnesses, collected 191 documents and 70 material objects. The investigation was spread over in 5 states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra," Bhal said. PTI