New Delhi: Former Gujarat minister Amit Shah Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the CBI had made a U-turn by filing a separate charge sheet in a staged encounter case since it wanted to arrest him again. The bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan was told that the CBI had maintained that the staged shootout of Tulsiram Prajapati in December 2006 was part of a larger conspiracy involving the abduction and killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and wife Kauserbi in November 2005 but now it was taking a contrary position.
The CBI was taking a completely contrary stand because they want to take him into judicial custody, Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Shah, told the court. Claiming that the case against Shah was "fabricated", Jethmalani said there had to be one charge sheet as the abduction and killing of Sohrabuddin and Kauserbi and Tulsiram Prajapti were a part of one transaction and thus one case.
He said if that were so, there would have been one bail of his client. The court was told that the entire effort was to take the former minister into police net.
However, appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal told the apex court that two incidents -- abduction and killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kauserbi and Tulsiram Prajapti -- were distinct and could not be seen as part of one transaction. The court is hearing a petition by Shah challenging the filing of a separate charge sheet by the CBI in the Prajapati case.
He has contended that shootout of Prajapti was a part of a large conspiracy and same transaction involving the abduction and killing of Sohrabuddin and Kauserbi. Shah has contended that since it was one case, there could not be a separate charge sheet against him in the Prajapati case.
The court directed its hearing for Feb 21. The court had Oct 18, 2012, suspended all proceedings against Shah before a CBI court in Ahmedabad in the Prajapati case.
Sohrabuddin was killed in an encounter by Gujarat Police Nov 26, 2005, and two days later, his wife Kauserbi was killed. Prajapti was killed in a staged encounter Dec 28, 2006. The CBI said Prajapati was the sole witness to the abduction, and was eliminated when it became apparent he would be questioned.