A special CBI court in Mumbai, on Friday, 21 December, acquitted all the 22 accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Tulsiram Prajapati murder case.
The court observed that there was not “enough evidence” to prove conspiracy in the case.
Here is the timeline of the case in which Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and associate Tulsi Prajapati were allegedly killed in fake encounters.
22 November 2005
Sohrabuddin, Kausar Bi and Prajapati are intercepted by a police team in a bus while returning to Sangli from Hyderabad, and taken into custody. Sheikh and his wife are taken in one vehicle, Prajapati in another.
22 to 25 November 2005
Sheikh and Kausar Bi kept in a farmhouse near Ahmedabad. Prajapati sent to Udaipur where he is lodged in the prison there to face trial in cases against him.
Sohrabuddin, Wife Kausar ‘Killed’
26 November 2005
Sheikh killed in an alleged fake encounter by a joint team comprising Gujarat and Rajasthan Police.
29 November 2005
Kausar Bi is allegedly killed by the police, her body burnt and disposed off.
Prajapati Allegedly Killed in 2006
27 December 2006
Prajapati taken from the Udaipur central prison by a team comprising Rajasthan and Gujarat Police, and allegedly killed in an encounter near Sarhad Chapri on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.
Sheikh’s Family Approaches SC
2005 to 2006
Sheikh's family approaches Supreme Court for investigation into the encounter and also seeks to know the whereabouts of Kausar Bi. SC directs Gujarat state CID to conduct a probe in the case.
30 April 2007
Gujarat government files a report before SC stating Kausar Bi is dead and her body was burnt and disposed off.
SC hands over the probe in the case to CBI.
23 July 2010
CBI files charge sheet in the case against 38 persons, including the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah, the then Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, and senior IPS officials.
CBI Arrests Amit Shah
25 July 2010
CBI arrests Amit Shah in the case.
8 October 2010
A special CBI court in Gujarat rejects Amit Shah's bail plea.
29 October 2010
Gujarat High Court grants bail to Amit Shah on a bond of Rs 1 lakh.
Case Shifted From Gujarat to Mumbai
27 September 2012
SC transfers the trial in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Kausar Bi alleged fake encounter case from Gujarat to Mumbai as sought by the CBI to ensure a fair trial.
8 April 2012
SC clubs the trial in Sheikh, Kausar Bi and Prajapati encounter cases.
CBI Court Discharges Amit Shah
30 December 2014 A special CBI court in Mumbai discharges Amit Shah from the case. Fifteen other accused, including Kataria and senior IPS officials, are also discharged subsequently.
Sheikh's brother Rubabuddin approaches the Bombay High Court to challenge Amit Shah's discharge in the case. The same month, Rubabuddin tells the HC that he does not wish to pursue the case and withdraws his petition.
Social activist Harsh Mander moves HC against Amit Shah's discharge.
Bombay HC dismisses Mander's petition after observing that he has no 'locus standi' (not an aggrieved party) in the case. Mander files an appeal in Supreme Court.
SC rejects Mander's appeal.
Charges Framed Against 22 Accused
Special CBI court in Mumbai frames charges against 22 accused.
Special CBI Judge SJ Sharma commences trial in the case. Prosecution examines 210 witnesses, of which 92 turn hostile.
Bombay HC upholds discharge granted to senior police officers DG Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, NK Amin, Vipul Aggarwal, Dinesh MN and Dalpat Singh Rathod.
23 November 2018
Court completes examination of witnesses and recording of statements of the accused under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
5 December 2018
Court closes the case for judgment on 21 December 2018 after completion of final arguments by prosecution and defence lawyers.
Court Acquits All 22 Accused
21 December 2018
The court acquits all 22 accused in the case after observing that prosecution failed to establish charges against them.