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A special CBI court in Mumbai is set to decide on Friday what has come to be known as the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case.

Twenty two people, mostly policemen face trial. In the case in which the two allegedly killed in a fake encounter in 2005. The case had triggered a political storm as BJP president Amit Shah, who was Gujarat Home Minister when the encounter took place, was also named in the case. However, he was discharged of all charges in 2014.

After the final arguments were wrapped up earlier this month, Special judge for CBI cases SJ Sharma had said he will pronounce the verdict on December 21.

Most of the accused are junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The court earlier discharged, for want of evidence, 16 of the 38 persons charge-sheeted by the CBI. These included Shah, the then Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande and former senior Gujarat police officer DG Vanzara.

According to the CBI, Shaikh, an alleged gangster with terror links, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Prajapati were abducted by Gujarat police from a bus when they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on the night of November 22 and 23, 2005.

Shaikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter on November 26, 2005 near Ahmedabad. His wife was killed three days later and her body was disposed of, the CBI said.

A year later, on December 27, 2006, Prajapati was also shot dead by Gujarat and Rajasthan police in an alleged fake encounter near Chapri on
Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

The case was initially probed by the Gujarat CID before the CBI took over in 2010. The Supreme Court in 2013 directed that the trial be shifted to Mumbai from Gujarat on the central agency’s request to ensure a fair trial.

—India Legal Bureau

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