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'CBI presented pre-meditated theory to implicate political leaders in Sohrabuddin case'

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ANI Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]
A special CBI court has said that the CBI had presented a "pre-meditated theory" with the intention to implicate political leaders in the alleged fake encounters of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kaushar Bi and aide Tulsi Prajapati.
Judge S. J. Sharma, in his judgement on the case, said that the CBI had presented "a pre meditated theory and a script intended to anyhow implicate political leaders. And the agency there after nearly did what was required to reach that goal rather than conducting an investigation in accordance with law".
In 2005, Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in alleged fake encounters by a joint team of Gujarat and Rajasthan police, while Prajapati was killed in another encounter a year later.
The CBI took over the case from the CID in 2010, with Special CBI public prosecutor BP Raju submitting that most of the evidence in the case was collected by the CBI. Raju also said that the prosecution was hampered because 92 witnesses turned hostile.
On December 21, the court acquitted all 22 accused in the case citing unsatisfactory circumstantial evidence.
In his judgement, Judge Sharma clarified that by saying the witnesses had turned hostile, he only meant that the witnesses did not depose as per their respective statements collected by the CBI. He further stated that the witnesses' deposition "clearly reflected" that "they were speaking the truth".
"It clearly appears that the CBI was more concerned in establishing a particular pre conceived and pre meditated theory rather than finding out the truth," Judge Sharma said, adding that his predecessor had termed the CBI investigation to be "politically motivated".
While saying that "it is no doubt a matter of regret" that the reported killings of Sohrabuddin, his wife and Tulsiram are "going unpunished", Judge Sharma said that "the accused cannot be punished holding them guilty on moral or suspicion grounds".
"I have therefore no options to conclude that the accused are not guilty and are to be acquitted" the Judge said.

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First Published: Dec 28 2018 | 9:05 PM IST

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