Mumbai: The CBI on Monday requested a special court hearing the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case not to discard entirely the testimonies of prosecution witnesses who have turned hostile, even as the court said the CBI’s theory and charge sheet are “riddled with unexplained gaps”.
The Central Bureau of Investigation said that the killings of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati–in 2005 and 2006–were staged and if some defects exist in the prosecuting agency’s probe, it can’t be a ground in itself to grant benefit or acquittal to the accused. A total of 92 out of 200 witnesses examined in the case have turned hostile.
Special public prosecutor BP Raju, who was making his final arguments on behalf of the CBI before Special Court Judge SJ Sharma here, said that it was “unfortunate” that so many important prosecution witnesses had turned hostile and gone back on their statements given to the CBI and the magistrate courts.
He argued that the Supreme Court had ruled in many instances that courts could take cognisance of the testimonies given by those witnesses who eventually turned hostile. “It is unfortunate that so many witnesses turned hostile (in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case) but the court must not discard their testimonies entirely, especially the statements given to the CBI by Nathuba Jadeja and Gurdayal Singh.