Sohrabuddin Sheikh, an alleged gangster, and his wife Kauser Bi were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2005 by the Gujarat Police. His aide, Prajapati, was killed in another alleged fake encounter in 2006 in a joint operation by the Gujarat and the Rajasthan police.
The cases were initially probed by CID, Gujarat, before they were transferred to the CBI in 2010. They were then transferred to Mumbai in 2012, on the request of the CBI to ensure a fair trial.
“If I am not able to do it by then, I will pronounce the verdict on December 24,” he added.
The final arguments in the case started on Monday.
According to the CBI, two encounters were staged by a joint team of Rajasthan and Gujarat police, between 2005 and 2006, in which both the named gangsters were shot dead.
There are 22 accused policemen and others in the case who have been facing trial. Out of the 120 witnesses brought in by the prosecution, 92 have been declared hostile.
The accused, who did not get any witnesses, tried to demolish CBI’s theory while in the box.
Of the 38 people initially charged by the CBI for the alleged fake encounters, 16 people including BJP president Amit Shah (who was the minister of state for home in Gujarat at the time) and all senior police officials, were discharged by the court.
CBI counsel BP Raju pointed out that they started the probe in the case after five years while the examination of witnesses began 12 years after the crime was committed, leading to a few gaps in the investigation.
Raju said that some of their important witnesses had turned hostile during the trial, hampering their case.
The judge, at that point, said, “I don’t blame the CID. I don’t blame the CBI. There are statements and witnessess. If they come here and say something else, it’s not your fault. You did your job.”