Mumbai: The CBI court, while letting off the final set of accused, expressed its ‘helplessness’ in convicting the 22 policemen. Special Judge Sunil Sharma said though he was mindful of three lives being lost, he was helpless.
“I am aware that three lives have been lost. A mother has lost her son and another a daughter-in-law. I am really sorry for the families of Sohrabuddin and Prajapati. But I am helpless,” Judge Sharma said, after acquitting all the accused. Judge Sharma added, “I cannot convict any of these police officers, as there is no material on record to hold them guilty. There is no incriminating material against them.”
While pronouncing his verdict, special Judge Sunil Sharma also said, “The state’s efforts to prove its case were futile, especially because a huge number of witnesses turned hostile. Even the public prosecutor tried his level best to prove the prosecution case, but there is no satisfactory evidence on record.”
“If witnesses do not speak, no one can force them. In this case, witnesses have turned hostile on their own. There seems no material to show if they were pressurised. No one, including the State, can be blamed for the witnesses turning hostile,” Judge Sharma concluded. The case had grabbed eyeballs after prosecution witnesses continued to turn hostile at the drop of a hat and retracted their original statements, on a daily basis. Of the 210 witnesses examined by the special court, a total of 92 turned hostile and refused to support the prosecution case. This proved to be a major drawback for the CBI.