In the case of CBI vs Amit Shah, in which CBI requested for the investigation of the Sohrabuddin case to be transferred outside Gujarat, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of CBI. The coram consisting of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made the following observations which clearly shows how the State of Gujarat and Gujarat Police made a shabby attempt at investigations in both Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram cases. Supreme Court was not satisfied with Gujarat Police’s investigation in either of the cases and Gujarat Police’s repeated attempts to file charge-sheets in a hurry in order to cover up important facts of the cases.
Quoting relevant extracts from Criminal Appeal No. 1503 OF 2012.
3. At the beginning, the State of Gujarat stoutly and vociferously denied that the encounter in which Sohrabuddin was killed was stage-managed and it was only later that it came around to accept that it was actually so and his wife, Kausarbi too was killed while she was in illegal police custody and her body was disposed of in a manner as to make it untraceable. Some sort of an investigation was made by the Gujarat Police and a charge-sheet was submitted on July 16, 2007 against thirteen (13) persons who were members of the Anti Terrorist Squad, Gujarat Police and the Special Task Force, Rajasthan Police.
5. It appeared to the Court that there were a number of aspects of the case, including the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati that were not addressed at all by the Gujarat Police. The State of Gujarat, however, continued to maintain that the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati in the police encounter had no connection with the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife. That being the position taken by the State it was but natural for the State police not to investigate any linkages between the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife on the one hand and the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati on the other.
12. The Gujarat Police, however, would neither hand over the records of the Prajapati case to the CBI nor allow it to make any independent investigation in the Prajapati case. On the contrary, the Gujarat Police purported to complete its investigation and, like the case of Sohrabuddin, rather hurriedly filed the charge-sheet in the case on July 30, 2010, followed by a supplementary charge-sheet on July 31, 2010, before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Danta, Banaskantha District.
20. Prajapati case also followed exactly the same pattern as the case of Sohrabuddin. Initially, there was a complete denial by the State that he was killed in any kind of a fake encounter. But, when it became impossible to deny that the story of the encounter was false, an investigation was swiftly made by the Gujarat Police and charge-sheet was submitted.
21. Further, in the Prajapati case the State insisted till the end that though he too was killed in a fake encounter there was no connection between his killing and the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife, Kausarbi.
22. The Court debunked the contention that there was no connection between the killings of Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi and the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati (see paragraphs 47 to 60 of the judgment) and also rejected the claim of the State Government that the investigation made in his case was complete and satisfactory. It directed the State Government to handover the investigation of the Prajapati case as well, to the CBI.
Follow the author here: