Separate trials: SC reserves verdict on Amit Shah’s plea
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a plea by former minister Amit Shah against CBI's attempt to make him stand trial separately into the killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati in alleged fake encounters.
Shah's counsel Mahesh Jethmalani has claimed that CBI, with "sinister design" and "malafide," has filed separate chargesheets in the two cases. He has argued that CBI had secured investigation in the Prajapati case only in order to explore a larger conspiracy in the Sohrabuddin case.
CBI, Jethmalani has said, admitted this position in their affidavits too that Prajapati's killing was inter-connected and integral part of the conspiracy hatched as a part of the same transaction.
"CBI 's stand is a malafide design to seek police custody of Shah a second time. Filing of separate chargesheets, which they have admitted to be part of the same transaction, leads to abuse of the process of law," Jethmalani has submitted before a Bench led by Justice P Sathasivam.
He has contended that Shah was not asking for quashing of the FIR or the chargesheet but wanted that the chargesheet in Prajapati case must be considered as a supplementary chargesheet in the Sohrabuddin case.
However, CBI has defended its action, saying they were not parts of the same conspiracy. Additional Solicitor General H P Raval told the court that there were two distinct conspiracies; one to kill Sohrabddin and his wife Kausar Bi in a fake encounter in November 2005 and the second to murder Prajapati in 2006.
"The two incidents are separate and distinct.
Prajapati was used to entrap Sohrabuddin and his role ended after the latter was trapped. The first conspiracy related to killing of Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi and a separate conspiracy was later hatched to eliminate Prajapati when the incident of the first killing had already come to light," said Raval.
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