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Fake encounter: Sohrabuddin’s brother takes back plea against BJP president Amit Shah

On October 20, Justice Anuja Prabhudessai had granted a month’s time to Rubabuddin to think over his decision. The judge had then said she wanted to rule out any possibility of pressure being exerted on the applicant.

Written by Aamir Khan | Mumbai | Updated: November 24, 2015 3:04:25 am
Amit shah, BJP Kolkata, Bihar election, Bihar election result, Kolkata polls, BJP Kolkata, BJP news, Amit shah news, India news BJP President Amit Shah. (Express Photo by: Oinam Anand)

Rubabuddin Sheikh on Monday voluntarily withdrew his application that challenged the discharge of BJP president Amit Shah in the case over the alleged fake encounter of his brother Sohrabuddin Sheikh.When the Bombay High Court asked if he was sure about the decision, Rubabuddin answered in the affirmative. On October 20, Justice Anuja Prabhudessai had granted a month’s time to Rubabuddin to think over his decision.

The judge had then said she wanted to rule out any possibility of pressure being exerted on the applicant.
It was Rubabuddin who first wrote to Chief Justice of India on January 14, 2007, alleging that Sohrabuddin was killed in a fake encounter by a team of Gujarat ATS in 2005. The apex court then directed the state police to conduct a probe.

On Monday, however, the brother stood in the witness box in the courtroom of Justice A V Nirgude as assignments had changed after the Diwali vacation. To ensure his decision was voluntary, the court asked him if he had made up his mind. Rubabuddin, who had expressed “shock” when Shah was dropped of all charges in December 2014, took a moment to reply.

He later said that he wanted to withdraw his application. The judge asked if he was absolutely sure about his decision to which Rubabuddin expressed certainty. Though Shah’s counsel S V Raju confirmed the development with The Indian Express, he refused to comment on it.

“The application was withdrawn by the application so it stands disposed of,” said Maharashtra’s Public Prosecutor Sandip Shinde, appearing for the CBI in this case.

According to CBI’s case, gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat’s ATS when they were on way from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra, and killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.

Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness to the alleged fake encounter, was killed by police at Chapri village, Banaskantha district of Gujarat, in December 2006. The Sohrabuddin and Prajapati cases were clubbed and transferred from an Ahmedabad court to the Mumbai court in 2012 following a Supreme Court order. A sessions court had said that CBI’s inference on Shah’s alleged complicity could not be accepted when considered in totality.

A former IAS officer and social worker Harsh Mander has also filed a similar plea, seeking quashing of the trial order dropping all charges against Shah, said his lawyer Ayaz Khan.

Mander, whose application is filed under various sections of IPC, has also sought a probe into the alleged fake encounter by an independent agency, said Khan. Senior counsel Anand Grover will be appearing for Mander before Justice Nirgude when the hearing comes up next.

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