The Bombay High Court on Monday admitted appeals filed by Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s brother Rubabuddin Sheikh challenging the acquittal of all 22 accused in the killing of his brother, his sister-in-law Kauser Bi and aide Tulsiram Prajapati in 2005, reported PTI. The accused, including police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan, were acquitted by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court in December 2018.
A division bench of Justices IA Mahanty and AM Badar issued notices to those acquitted in the case. However, the bench did not mention when it will take up the appeal for hearing.
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 special CBI court hearing the case had on December 21, 2018, acquitted all the accused. In its judgement, the special CBI court had said the prosecution could not prove a conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Shah was one of those acquitted in the case. The final arguments in the case ended on December 5. Out of the 210 witnesses examined, 92 were declared hostile.
Rubabuddin Sheikh had filed the appeal in the Bombay High Court in April. In his application, Rubabuddin Sheikh said the special CBI judge had based the verdict on “unwarranted assumptions and manifestly erroneous appreciation of evidence”.
“His actions have led to a substantial miscarriage of justice, and hence interference of this Honourable court [the High Court] is justified in securing the ends of justice,” he had said. The plea added that the judgement was “wholly and completely contradictory to the evidence at hand”.