The Mumbai court that dropped charges against BJP chief Amit Shah on December 30 from the triple murder case — Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauserbi and Tulsiram Prajapati — has held Shah’s “style of functioning” as a minister of state for home, while stating that “if a home minister of a particular State enters in a direct dialogue with officers like the superintendent of police working at the ground level is not a matter of surprise, unusual or unnatural as the CBI proposes.”
The court’s observation is based on the call detail records (CDRs) that the CBI has placed as the most crucial evidence to establish the alleged conspiracy hatched by Shah and accused police officers such as D G Vanzara, then DIG, ATS, Rajkumar Pandian, then Superintendent of Police, ATS among others. The CBI has claimed that a total of 38 calls were exchanged between Shah and Vanzara and 343 between Shah and Pandian, revealing an “unnatural, uncommon and not part of common, regular and routine course of official business.”
The court order states, “One cannot forget the fact that the ATS is a specially trained squad of the police force to prevent the activities of terrorist groups. The judicial notice of the fact well can be taken that terrorist activities have increased and are rampant all over the world.” The order goes on to say that “the explanation of the applicant/ accused (Shah) that it was his style of functioning (to be in touch with field officers) as an MoS, is plausible and can be considered while deciding an application…”
The court has also trashed statements of Patel brothers to come to a conclusion that Shah was involved in a conspiracy to eliminate Sohrabuddin. This observation also has its significance considering the fact that Patel brothers statements are the most important evidence particularly against Shah, and other accused IPS officers such as Vanzara, Pandian and Abhay Chudasma.
The court order says that the entire record of the case doesn’t have enough evidence on facts showing “there was a meeting of minds between Shah and other co-accused to abduct and then kill Sohrabuddin, Kauserbi and/or Tulsiram Prajapati. The CBI mostly relies chiefly on the statements of witnesses which are hearsay in nature…”
“The motive which the CBI ascribes to Shah cannot be sustained as Sohrabuddin was already involved in many cases and was an absconding accused, which is not in dispute, and there was a reason for the Gujarat and the Rajasthan Police to nab him. Further, if the motive is to be believed as suggested by the CBI, then one can understand the involvement of the Gujarat Police on whom Shah might have control, but then there was no reason for the Rajasthan Police to get involved,” the order states.