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Sohrabuddin’s brother asks MHA and CBI to appeal against the acquittal of accused

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Rubabuddin Shaikh, brother of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, who was allegedly killed in a fake encounter has requested the home ministry and the CBI to appeal against the trial court’s acquittal of all the accused in the case.

On December 21, 2018, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court had acquitted all the 22 accused due to insufficient evidence and the prosecution’s failure to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The accused, mostly junior level police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan were charged with killing Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his associate Tulsiram Prajapati in a fake encounter.

On January 14 this year, Sohrabuddin’s brother Rububuddin wrote letters to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the CBI, the prosecuting agency, requesting them to file an appeal in the Bombay High Court challenging the lower court’s order.

The judgment of the CBI court dated December 21, 2018 acquitting all the accused persons is bad in law and prima facie untenable. The special CBI court has erred in appreciating facts and evidence in right perspective. I humbly request you (MHA and CBI) to kindly undertake all necessary measures to file appeal before the Bombay High Court, Rubabuddin said in the letter.

According to CBI, the three victims, who were returning to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad in a bus, were taken into custody by a police team on the night of November 22-23, 2005. The couple was taken in one vehicle and Prajapati in another.

The CBI said that Shaikh was killed on November 26, 2005, allegedly by a joint team comprising Gujarat and Rajasthan Police, and Kausar Bi three days later. Prajapati, who was lodged in an Udaipur Central Jail, was killed in an encounter on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border on December 27, 2006.

The CBI had initially charged 38 persons, including BJP president Amit Shah, who was then Gujarat home minister, Gulabchand Kataria, the then Rajasthan home minister, and senior IPS officers like D.G. Vanzara and P.C. Pande. The prosecution had examined 210 witnesses, of which 92 turned hostile. Shah was arrested in the case in July 2010, but released on bail by Gujarat High Court in October 2010. He was discharged by the CBI court in December 2014.

Sixteen people, including Shah, Kataria, Vanzara and Pande, were earlier discharged by the CBI court due to lack of evidence.

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