“Those responsible for kidnapping Sohrabuddin will face the trial”
There is no conspiracy in the fake encounter death of Sohrabuddin as claimed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the former Union Law Minister and senior advocate, Ram Jethmalani, argued in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Mr. Jethmalani made the submission before a Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan hearing arguments on a petition for transfer of the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case to the CBI for re-investigation.
Refuting the CBI's charge that there was a conspiracy hatched by the former Gujarat Home Minister, Amit Shah, in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, he said the killing of Prajapati had no connection whatsoever in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter, and he did not accompany Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi when they travelled from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra.
Criticising the CBI for not investigating the role of the Andhra Pradesh police, he said the CBI was trying to discredit the Gujarat police, which had conducted a thorough probe and filed a charge sheet. “Those who were responsible for kidnapping Sohrabuddin will face the trial. But there is no conspiracy in the killing of Sohrabuddin,” he said.
Pointing out that Prajapati was killed 13 months after the death of Sohrabuddin, he asked: “Where is the question of conspiracy.”
Mr. Jethmalani cited documents to show that the CBI was not able to produce any evidence to prove any conspiracy in the killing of Prajapati and that Mr. Shah had any role in it. Since Prajapati was a hardcore criminal, someone would have killed him.
Senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Gujarat, submitted that in the Prajapti case, the State had filed a charge sheet as well as a supplementary charge sheet much before the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into the Sohrabuddin fake encounter death case. “We have made an honest investigation and arrested those responsible for the killing of Prajapati, and the trial is going on.”
Pointing out the flaws in the CBI's investigation in the Sohrabuddin case, he said it had obtained a statement from witnesses who had given identical statements in 2007, and in 2010. This, he said, was impossible. It was beyond doubt that these statements were trumped up to find fault with the investigation conducted by the State.
He produced documents and evidence to show that Prajapati did not accompany Sohrabuddin and his wife during their travel from Hyderabad to Sangli. The third person who was said to have travelled could be Kalimuddin, and not PrajapatSi.
Arguments will continue on March 15.