HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 16, 2014

The CBI on Monday opposed the discharge plea filed by the BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case, saying it had evidence of his involvement.

Its counsel told the special CBI court that there was evidence on record in the charge sheet and statements from witnesses. Shah’s counsel, SV Raju, said that a person cannot be charged based on hearsay and cited relevant sections of the Evidence Act.

Earlier, the defence had stated that the Indian National Congress (INC) had used the CBI as a tool to implicate Shah in the case.

Complainant Rubabuddin Sheikh’s lawyer, Anubha Rastogi, stated in the court that she thought that CBI will continue its arguments for a longer period — it took around 30 minutes — and therefore had not prepared her arguments. She will now make her arguments on Tuesday. The special judge said every party will be given a fair hearing.

Amit Shah has been exempted from making a personal appearance in court.

According to the CBI’s charge sheet, subsequent to the murder of Hamid Lala, Sohrabuddin and Prajapati continued their criminal activities in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

However, Sohrabuddin remained elusive. It was, therefore, that the accused, Amit Shah, who was then Gujarat home minister along with police officers, DG Vanzara, S Pandiyan Rajkumar, Dinesh Man and others allegedly entered into a conspiracy to abduct and murder Sohrabuddin.

Accordingly, Vanzara, with the aid of another police officer, roped in Prajapati. Vanzara assured Prajapati that he would ensure safe passage for him as he would be implicated in some petty cases.

Prajapati informed them in advance about Sohrabuddin’s plan to travel to Sangli from Hyderabad. Subsequently, Sohrabuddin was abducted murdered and shown as a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist killed in a police encounter on November 26, 2005. His wife Kausarbi was murdered three days later.