Says not enough material was brought on record by prosecution to prove case against accused.
Mumbai: The special Central Bureau of Investigation court judge, S.J. Sharma, who acquitted all the accused in 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh and 2006 Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases for “lack of evidence”, said that he felt sorry for the families of the three persons who lost their lives. However, he added, courts work on evidence and the testimony of witnesses and in this case, not enough material was brought on record to prove the case against the accused.
The court also rejected applications filed by two prosecution witnesses Azam Khan and Mahendra Singh Jhala who had requested the trial court to re-examine them.
Judge Sharma said that out of 210 prosecution witnesses 92, including important witnesses, turned hostile. “What could have prosecution done? It couldn’t have forced them not to turn hostile,” said the judge in open court while talking about reasons that led to the acquittal of all the accused. The judge said that the prosecution made sincere efforts to prove its case. However, it could not bring on record some relevant documentary evidence and reliable witnesses, as the statements of some witnesses were hearsay upon which court cannot rely.
“Therefore, when this court ultimately went through all the evidence and testimonies on record, it concluded that no case of conspiracy could be established.” According to the judge, the evidence produced by the prosecution against accused was not sufficient to hold them guilty of any offence.
The judge also expres-sed disbelief in the theory that Prajapati was the third person that was abducted along with Sheikh and his wife from a luxury bus and that he was witness to the abduction of Sheikh and Kausar Bi.
Since the court discarded this theory, the judge also disbelieved that Prajapati was killed in a fake encounter to eliminate the eyewitness in Sheikh’s case.