A special CBI court Thursday discharged senior Gujarat police officer N K Amin in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
He is the eight person to be discharged in the case — the others included BJP president and the then junior home minister of Gujarat Amit Shah. Two other names were dropped from the case by the CBI.
Allowing Amin’s discharge plea, Special CBI Judge M B Gosavi agreed that there was lack of sufficient evidence against him. Amin, who was granted bail and reinstated in the state police in 2015, is currently SP of Mahisagar district.
At the time of the encounter of Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi, Amin was DSP (Crime Branch) in Ahmedabad. He was arrested in 2007 and charged with murder, conspiracy, destruction of evidence and kidnapping.
The CBI had claimed in its chargesheet that although Amin was not part of the ATS which carried out the encounter, he was part of the conspiracy and remained in touch with other accused, including police officers D G Vanzara and R K Pandian. The probe agency had also claimed there were as many as 25 phone calls between Amin and Shah during the relevant period.
Amin’s application also relied on these phone calls, arguing that though the prosecution had used them to establish his link with the other accused, they did not hold ground as Shah was himself discharged from the case.
Amin had also argued that he was neither concerned with the Gujarat ATS nor the Special Task Force, Rajasthan, which allegedly planned the encounter. He claimed that the only other evidence the CBI had against him was a witness’s statement, which he argued was only based on circumstantial evidence, not linking him to the main conspiracy.