Sohrabuddin Sheikh Encounter Case: ‘Vulnerable’ CBI struggling even to prove the offence, says accused counsel

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is already being criticised for its ‘approach’ in the staged encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and friend Tulsiram Prajapati case. Firstly, the CBI has failed in adducing crucial evidence in the case and now the central agency is struggling hard to even prove the offence of the accused, who are facing the trial. According to some accused, the CBI has come to this ‘juncture’ only because of the ever increasing numbers of witnesses turning hostile. It has also failed to bring more prosecution witnesses on record, who can support the prosecution case.

It may be noted the case has seen a trend of witnesses turning hostile since the very first day of its trial commencement in November 2007. Till date, the agency has examined a total of 168 witnesses and at least 91 witnesses have turned hostile and have refused to support the case of the agency against the 22 accused, who are facing trial.

In addition to all this, the agency has been accused by some witnesses for harassing and pressurising them to modify their statements. The agency has also invited flak for labelling the brothers of Sohrabuddin — Rubabuddin and Nayamuddin, the prime witnesses in the case, as ‘untraceable.’ The agency has also failed to convince some really crucial witnesses like the mother of Prajapati to step into the witness box and testify. In a conversation with the Free Press Journal, advocate Hitesh Shah, who is representing at least three accused, said that the CBI has become ‘vulnerable.’

“I believe the CBI has come to a juncture where it is struggling to even prove the offence of the accused. The agency has miserably failed to bring home the guilt of all the accused through its witnesses,” Shah told FPJ. Surprising is the stand of the CBI which says it is yet to analyse the evidence of the witnesses who have supported the prosecution case and have not turned hostile.

“At this point of time, I have no idea whether the witnesses who stood by their earlier statements, have been helpful for us to prove our case. I am yet to analyse their evidence,” special public prosecutor Raju More informed FPJ. Meanwhile, the trial has recently experienced a crucial witness turning hostile in the case. The witness — Daniel Sylvester, a co-inmate of Prajapati was declared hostile last week.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal