A special CBI court that conducted the trial of the twin encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati and rape-murder of Kausar Bi has ruled that the angle of "politician-police nexus" could not be proved.
It is noteworthy to mention here that the then Gujarat minister of state for home and current BJP Amit Shah was an accused in the case but the court had discharged him in December 2014.
Sohrabuddin, a hardened gangster with links to Lashkar-e-Taiba and Pakistani spy agency ISI, was conspiring to assassinate an "important political leader", presumably the then Gujarat chief minister and current prime minister Narendra Modi.
On December 21, 2018, additional sessions judge SJ Sharma, who presided over a special CBI court, acquitted 22 persons in this case.
The judgement was uploaded and made available on December 31 - the day the special judge retired. "... I have no hesitation to conclude that the evidence which has been laid and adduced and as discussed and appreciated vividly, prosecution (CBI) has though tried, but has failed to prove any such politician-police nexus....," the judgement states.
It noted that certain witnesses on whom heavy reliance was placed by prosecution where fully based on hearsay evidence which is of no use. "Therefore, the exercise was undertaken by CBI investigators and the CID Crime (of Gujarat) and the evidence as adduced by the
prosecution and even the investigator themselves, if look in its totality does not either prove nor even prima facie established such nexus," judge Sharma noted in the 358-page order.
Giving the order on acquittal, the judge noted: "The foregoing discussion makes it clear that the 21 accused who are police officials (of the 22 accused) and who were found doing the act and deed in discharge of their official duty are entitled to the benefit as contemplated under section 197 of CrPC. It was necessary for the investigation agency to obtain the sanction of the competent authority before filing chargesheet. In absence of sanction, the accused are entitled for acquittal."