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Updated: April 8, 2013 11:42 IST

Proceedings against Amit Shah stayed in Prajapathi case

J. Venkatesan
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A file photo of former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah.
The Hindu A file photo of former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah.

CBI had misrepresented judgment, he tells Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed all further proceedings before a trial court in Gujarat in the ‘Tulsiram Prajapathi case’ in which the CBI had cited the former Gujarat Home Minister, Amit Shah, as an accused. In view of the stay, the CBI cannot arrest him in this case.

A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to the CBI seeking its response to the writ petition filed by Mr. Shah and posted the matter to November 23.

The Bench granted the stay till the next date of hearing after senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the CBI had misrepresented the judgment in the Prajapathi case (entrusting the matter to the CBI) and filed a fresh charge sheet instead of a second supplementary charge sheet. He said the sessions court was likely to take cognisance of the charge sheet and once this was done Mr. Shah would be arrested again. Hence, he sought stay of all further proceedings.

Charge against Congress

Mr. Shah, in his petition, alleged that the Congress was using the CBI to have him arrested during the Gujarat Assembly elections. He was constrained to file a writ petition as the CBI, with the mala fide intent and solely with the purpose of victimising him, misconstrued the judgment and the order passed by the Supreme Court on April 8, 2011 while entrusting the investigation of Prajapathi’s death to the CBI. He said the CBI had filed a charge sheet against him and others with an ulterior motive of causing his arrest/sending him to judicial custody for the second time for the very same offence though he was already arrested and released on regular bail by the Gujarat High Court holding that there was no prima facie case against him.

He had a fundamental right under Article 20 of not being prosecuted and arrested twice for the same offence. Mr. Shah said he was a very important leader of the BJP in Gujarat and was arrested in the Sohrabuddin case. The CBI had investigated the cause of death of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi. The agency had specifically stated in the Supreme Court that as per its investigation Prajapathi was a key witness to the murder of Sohrabuddin and he was the ‘third person’ who accompanied Sohrabuddin from Hyderabad and killing of Prajapathi was a part of the same conspiracy.

Though the CBI ought to have filed a supplementary charge sheet in the same Sohrabuddin case, it committed a deliberate, wilful and politically motivated fraud with this court and registered a fresh offence ostensibly based upon the judgment entrusting the investigation of the Prajapathi case to it, Mr. Shah alleged.

Counsel said “it is relevant to note that even when the petitioner was interrogated after his arrest on July 25, 2010, he was also interrogated with reference to, inter-alia, killing of Prajapathi. The charge sheet dated July 23, 2010 in the Sohrabuddin case substantiates this fact.” Contending that the second charge sheet filed by the CBI was a mala fide exercise of power, Mr. Shah sought a direction to quash the FIR dated April 29, 2011 declaring the same to be contrary to the direction issued in the judgment and order dated April 8, 2011.

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