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Agency silent on challenging Shah discharge

After being criticized from all sides over the discharge of BJP President Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, the CBI on Friday broke its silence and claimed that they had filed a ‘comprehensive and strong’ written submission asking the Mumbai court to reject Shah’s petition.The CBI, however, remained silent on whether they will be filing an appeal in the higher court against the order. CBI sources said, “We have received the court judgment copy and whatever appropriate step is needed to be taken, will be taken.”

As per rule, the CBI will need the Law Ministry’s nod to file an appeal against the judgment, which many feel is very unlikely. Shah’s discharge invited severe criticism from the opposition leaders and once again raised questions on the functioning of country’s premier probe agency. On the context of why CBI argued only for 45 minutes against three-day oral long arguments by Shah’s lawyer before the court that has discharged him from the case, CBI sources said, “It would be unfair to judge the
quality of argument with its length and minutes.”

The source said, “It is a fact that we had filed a comprehensive and strong written submission before the court against his plea. We had done what needed to be done in the written submission to oppose his plea.” When asked why a special public prosecutor was not appointed in the case, he argued, “It is not mandatory to appoint a special public prosecutor in every case. The prosecutor, who was dealing with the case for the last two years, was well-versed with the case and therefore we banked on him.”

“The charge-sheet in the case was filed under his watch and we would be questioned by media if we had charged him,” he added. On November 26, 2005, Sohrabuddin, arms dealer, was killed in an encounter with the police in Ahmedabad. His wife Kaushar Bi’s body was found three days later. Then Gujarat police had claimed that he had planned to assassinate political leaders. Later, Tulsiram Prajapati, an eyewitness in Sohrabuddin encounter, was also killed by the police in Gujarat in December 28, 2006.
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