The CBI has charge-sheeted former Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah, serving additional director general of police Geeta Johri, former DGP PC Pande, former additional DGP OP Mathur and 16 other police officers in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case of 2006.
"Shah, Johri, Pande and others have been booked for the offences of criminal conspiracy, murder, destruction of evidence and offences under the Arms Act," a CBI press release said.
Prajapati, a crucial eyewitness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter in case, was bumped off in a staged shootout by a joint team of the Gujarat and Rajasthan police forces near Danta town in north Gujarat in December 2006.
The chargesheet was filed in a judicial magistrate’s court in Danta. Amit Shah’s lawyer Mitesh Amin, however, raised an objection, saying that the court does not have any jurisdiction to accept the CBI chargesheet. The court will now conduct a hearing on the issue on September 10.
Shah, a trusted lieutenant of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, was arrested by the CBI in July 2010 during the probe into the Sohrabuddin fake encounter in November 2005. He is currently out on bail but the Supreme Court has restrained him from entering Gujarat.
The CBI has charged him for conspiring with police officials to abduct gangster Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauser Bi and his accomplice Tulsiram and kill them in staged shootout.
Shah has also been charged with running an extortion racket with police officials using gangsters like Sohrabuddin.
Pande, Johri, Mathur and deputy superintendent of police RK Patel have essentially been booked because they tried to mislead the CBI probe by "delinking the Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati cases, which are connected and are part of the larger conspiracy involving a nexus between the police and politicians from Gujarat and Rajasthan," the CBI said.