SC bins state’s review plea on CBI investigation
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The Supreme Court has dismissed the Gujarat government's plea to review its order for a CBI probe into the alleged fake encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati, a witness to the "fake encounter" case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, allegedly involving state's former Home Minister Amit Shah.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan found "no merit" in the state's review petition, which had contended that no CBI probe could be ordered as the state police had already filed a chargesheet in the case.
The apex court had ordered the CBI probe in April 2011 on an appeal by Prajapati's mother Narmada Bai, who had alleged that her son was killed by the Gujarat Police in a staged encounter because he was a key eyewitness in the November 2005 killings of Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi.
The court said the petitioner had made out a strong case for the transfer of investigation to the CBI as there was strong suspicion about the involvement of police personnel from three states — Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The bench, however, had clarified that the observations made by it in its judgment should not influence the trial court judge, dealing with the case. It had also criticised the tardy probe by the Gujarat Police into the killings, in which top police officers were allegedly involved, besides politicians.
The bench had regretted that the state police took more than three and a half years to file the chargesheet.
The government and Shah had opposed transfer of the case to the CBI, contending the Centre was trying to implicate the former minister and Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the encounter killings.
Senior counsel K T S Tulsi, appearing for the CBI and Huzefi Ahamadi, who represented Narmada Bai, had justified the transfer plea saying the investigation by the Gujarat Police was "biased" and Prajapati's killing was a sequel to the encounter deaths of Sohrabuddin, an alleged extortionist, and his wife.
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