Sohrabuddin encounter plea against Amit Shah rejected
A plea seeking review of the Supreme Court's decision which gave a clean chit to BJP president Amit Shah in the case of fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh was rejected by the apex court. The bench of justices said, "We do not find any error in the order impugned, much less an apparent error on the face of the record calling for its review."
Amit Shah is the current President of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was the Home Minister of Gujarat in the year 2005.
Sohrabuddin Anwarhussain Sheikh was a gangster in Gujarat, involved in many crimes such as extortion, arms smuggling and murder. The police claimed that Sheikh was affiliated with the globally banned terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Sohrabuddin Sheikh was allegedly linked with underworld criminals and the underworld mafia operated by Dawood Ibrahim. In the investigations before his arrest, AK-47 assault rifles were found at his residence.
On 23rd November, 2005, Gujarat Police along with its Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), stopped a bus in which Sohrabuddin and his wife were traveling. Kauser Sheikh, the wife of Sohrabuddin, was taken to a farmhouse outside of Ahmedabad, despite wanting to stay with her husband. Sohrabuddin was killed 3 days later in an alleged staged encounter; 2 days after his death, Kauser was strangulated.
Reports about the fake-encounter killings surfaced when a police inspector boasted about the same over drinks with journalist Prashant Dayal, who later conducted his own investigations into the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife.
During the CBI probe into the matter, Amit Shah became a suspect when it surfaced that 331 calls were made by him to Abhay Chudasama, an arrested police officer. Subsequently, charges against Amit Shah were dropped by the CBI, which claimed that no legal evidence supported his accusation. According to the court, Amit Shah's involvement was shown by the CBI "for political reasons."
On 1st August, 2016, a plea filed against the discharge of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake-encounter case was rejected by the apex court in Delhi. The petition against Amit Shah was filed by social activist and former IAS officer Harsh Mander. According to the Supreme Court, Mander's locus standi (the legal right to interfere) was a serious question in the petition.
The petitioner's lawyer Kapil Sibal stated that the apex court could not shut its eyes on serious injustice. Sibal requested that his client be allowed to file a revision petition in the High Court, seeking re-trial of Amit Shah. Stating that Shah was named Accused no. 16 by the CBI, he said "public must get the feeling that nobody is above the law."
Stressing that "nobody is above the law", the SC bench said, "When the person is genuinely aggrieved, then the issue takes a different colour but when the person is not remotely connected and wants to revive the case, then it is an altogether different matter."