Congress President Rahul Gandhi called Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah a “murder accused” on Tuesday, prompting the saffron party leader to question his knowledge of legal matters, PTI reported.

Gandhi, who was addressing election rallies in Madhya Pradesh, also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale controversy, saying an inquiry into the defence deal will be instituted if the Congress comes to power. Then, mentioning Shah, he added: “Murder accused BJP chief Amit Shah, wow, how majestic!”

In 2014, a special court discharged Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter killing cases, ruling that there was “no case” against him and that he had been implicated for “political reasons”. Sheikh, a wanted criminal, was killed in an alleged encounter in November 2005. His wife was allegedly raped and killed three days later, and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati was shot dead by the police in December 2006. Of the 38 people accused in the case, only 22 stood trial.


The final arguments in the case ended on December 5. Out of the 210 witnesses examined, 92 were declared hostile. The special CBI court hearing the case, on December 21, acquitted all the accused. In its judgement, the court said the prosecution could not prove a conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt.

“Let me tell you the gist of the order,” Shah said in response to Gandhi’s jibe. “I was slapped with a fake case and the court has already passed its order that it was a politically motivated allegation and was without any evidence. I do not want to make any comment on the legal knowledge of Rahul Gandhi.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, while defending fielding Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Thakur, had said that Rahul Gandhi and his mother, former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, are both out on bail but that nobody was questioning them. The Gandhis were given bail by a trial court in the National Herald case.

Madhya Pradesh is voting in four phases starting on April 29. The other voting days are May 6, 12 and 19.