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Supreme Court declines to lift curbs on hearing in Prajapati killing

Posted on Nov 27, 10:00PM | IANS

The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to revoke suspension of proceedings against Gujarat's former minister Amit Shah in the Tulsiram Prajapati killing and fixed Jan 15 next year for the final hearing.

As senior counsel Vivek Tankha, appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), pressed for the vacation of stay on the proceedings, the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan said no purpose would be served by continuing the stay or vacating it.

The court Oct 18 suspended the proceedings against Gujarat's former minister of state for home Amit Shah. On Tuesday, it directed final hearing in the case.

According to the CBI, Prajapti, suspected to be an aide of alleged gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, was killed by Gujarat Police in the state in 2006 after Sohrabuddin's staged shootout.

Shah earlier contended that if the alleged staged shootout of Prajapati was a part of killing of suspected criminal Sohrabuddin Sheikh, as alleged by the CBI, then there was no need for filing a separate charge sheet in the case. A supplementary charge sheet could be filed in Sohrabuddin Sheikh case itself.

Tankha told the court that due to the suspension of proceedings, the trial in Sohrabuddin Sheikh case too was not progressing. The trial in Sohrabuddin Sheikh case was transferred to Mumbai by the apex court Sep 27.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in a staged shootout in 2005 and Prajapati was killed in an alleged staged shootout in 2006, then how could the case proceed by filing a supplementary charge sheet and not the separate charge sheet against Shah in the Prajapati case, Tankha argued.

Opposing the CBI plea, senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi told the court that his client would file his nomination papers for assembly elections Wednesday next month.

In its reply to Shah's plea seeking a stay on proceedings in Prajapati case, the CBI said it was wrong to say that the killing of Prajapati was the continuation of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

The CBI said that the killing Sohrabuddin Sheikh was both distinct and separate from that of Prajapati.