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  Metros   Mumbai  02 Aug 2017  No proof: DG Vanzara walks free in Sohrabuddin case

No proof: DG Vanzara walks free in Sohrabuddin case

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 2, 2017, 2:17 am IST
Updated : Aug 2, 2017, 2:17 am IST

Special judge Sunilkumar J. Sharma also discharged IPS officer from the Rajasthan cadre Dinesh M.N.

DG Vanzara
 DG Vanzara

Mumbai: A special CBI court on Tuesday discharged former Gujarat senior police officer D.G. Vanzara in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case due to lack of evidence and absence of prosecution sanction.

Special judge Sunilkumar J. Sharma also discharged IPS officer from the Rajasthan cadre Dinesh M.N.

Reacting to the court’s order, Mr Vanzara said, “Justice has finally been done.”

In December 2014, BJP president Amit Shah was also discharged by the court in the case. He was a minister in Gujarat at the time of the gangster’s killing.

“Considering the quality of material on record against this applicant and taking into consideration the entire prosecution story, to my mind, it is clear that there is no prima facie material against this accused (Vanzara), to connect him to the killing of Sohrabuddin, much less, as one of the conspirators,” observed Judge Sharma, while discharging Mr Vanzara.

The court said that the “CBI mostly relied on statements of witnesses, which are hearsay in nature,” adding that “even the statements of the co-accused do not, in any way, directly implicate Mr Vanzara in the fake encounter”.

The court also pointed out that the probe agency had not taken the government’s sanction to prosecute Mr Vanzara.

At the time of the encounter, Mr Vanzara was heading the crime branch in Ahmedabad and Dinesh M.N. was the chief of Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad.

The Sohrabuddin killing case was transferred to Mumbai in September 2012 on the request of the CBI for a fair trial.

Around 15 of the accused have so far been discharged in the case.

The court is expected to frame charges against the remaining 23 accused on August 9.

Discharging the Mr Vanzara, the judge said, “The prosecution has not spoken about the presence of this accused at the spot on the date and time of abduction followed by killing of Sohrabuddin, (his wife) Kauser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati. The prosecution against the accused is dropped in absence of prior sanction of the government as required under section 197 of CrPC.”

Sheikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005, after which his wife disappeared and was believed to have been done to death.

Prajapati, an aide of the gangster who ran extortion rackets, and an eyewitness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by the police at Chapri village in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district in December 2006. In 2013, the Supreme Court had clubbed the alleged fake encounter case of Prajapati with that of Sheikh.

Tags: dg vanzara, sohrabuddin sheikh
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)