by Pratik Sinha
Once again the Indian Investigating agencies and Judiciary have failed the people of India by letting out a powerful political leader despite having enough evidence of involvement in a henious crime. Amit Shah has been acquitted by the Special CBI Court, Bombay, in the Sohrabuddin murder case even before the trial for the case could start.
Sohrabuddin case has been in the political limelight for over 8 years now. On 23 November, 2005, Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausarbi and Tulsi Prajapati were abducted from a bus near Sangali in Maharashtra. Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi were kept in a farm house near Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Sohrabuddin was murdered in a fake encounter on 26th November. His wife Kausarbi was allegedly raped while in custody of Gujarat Police and on 29th November was murdered as well. Within a year, on 28th December, 2006, Tulsi Prajapati was also eliminated.
Gujarat State government agreed before Supreme Court that the encounter of Sohrabuddin was a fake encounter. On April 24th, 2007, IPS officers Vanzara, Dinesh MN and Rajkumar Pandian were arrested by Rajnish Rai. However SC observed that Gujarat government was lackadaisical in its investigation and therefore transferred the case to CBI. CBI arrested Amit shah in July 2010 and thereafter on CBI’s request, the case was transferred to Bombay in 2012. Gujarat Government also admitted before the Supreme Court that Tulsi Prajapati’s encounter was fake as well. Meanwhile Amit Shah had secured himself a bail in the Sohrabuddin case after spending 3 months behind the bars. Soon after, to avoid arrest in the Tulsi Prajapati, on the best of Amit Shah, all three cases were clubbed by Supreme Court as a single case. Since Amit Shah had already secured a bail in Sohrabuddin case, he was not charged separately for Tulsi encounter case and thus avoided arrest even though he was the A-1 accused according to the CBI Chargesheet.
While it was already difficult to secure justice while Narendra Modi was the CM of Gujarat as has been observed in multiple riot and fake encounter cases, now that Modi has become the PM of India, situation has gone from worse to worst for the victims of such heinous crimes. Caged Parrot of Congress has now become Mute Parrot of BJP. It has been more than seven years since the CBI filed its chargesheet in the case and yet the trial in this case has not been started. This became the prime argument for all the cops to get bails and now all these cops who are murder accused are roaming freely in uniforms on the streets of Gujarat and have been reinstated in the police force with plum postings. This speaks a lot about the attitude of Gujarat Government who facilitate such cops.
CBI under Narendra Modi did their job by putting a very poor defence in the Amit Shah’s discharge application. While Amit Shah hired a battery of top lawyers, not even a Special Prosecutor was appointed by the CBI for this case. While Amit Shah’s lawyers argued for 3 days, CBI’s lawyer finished his argument within fifteen minutes. The facilitation by Modi Government was not limited to CBI’s role. Even Judges who were not favourable and who rebuked Amit Shah for his non-appearance in the court were instantly transferred.
But the Government and the Investigating agencies are not the only ones to be blamed. The Special CBI Court, in an unprecedented move, acquitted Amit Shah who was a triple murder accused with a mountain of evidence against him without making him face a trial and being cross-investigated. It is only during the trial stage when the witnesses and evidence are appreciated.
While acquitting Amit Shah, the Court ignored several important facts which were damning of Amit Shah’s role in the Sohrabuddin encounter. The Court did not take into account the statement of VL Solanki who was the investigating officer in this case and who had given a statement about how Amit Shah tried to influence the case. The Court has not taken in account all the phone call data and dying declaration of Tulsi Prajapati before the magistrate and NHRC.
What we have seen in Amit Shah’s case is a complete mockery of the Justice system. Jan Sangharsh Manch who has been representing Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin in this case will move the High Court to appeal against this acquittal. The fight must go on.