A special CBI court on Monday granted exemption from appearance to BJP President Amit Shah, an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, till the framing of charges.
Shah had sought permanent exemption but the court granted him exemption only till the charges are framed, a stage which is followed by commencement of trial.
Special judge B S Loya today also allowed the plea of Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin, the complainant, to provide an English translation of the charge sheet.
Adjourning the hearing to November 21, the court asked CBI to supply him an English copy.
According to CBI, Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi were abducted by the Gujarat police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad in November 2005 and killed in a staged encounter near Gandhinagar. Sohrabuddin is alleged to have demanded protection money from a businessman prior to his death.
Further, CBI says, Tulsiram Prajapati, an eyewitness to the fake encounter, was also killed by the police in another fake encounter at Chapri village in Banaskantha district of Gujarat in December 2006. Both cases are being heard simultaneously in the Mumbai Court.
CBI has charge-sheeted 37 accused including Shah, who was Minister of State for Home of Gujarat when these encounters had taken place, and several police officers in the two cases.
Shah is accused of being party to the conspiracy.
Some of the accused, including Shah and former IPS officers of Gujarat D G Vanzara and Rajkumar Pandian, have been granted bail.
Taking into account the alleged threat to witnesses, the Supreme Court had transferred the trial of the case from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.