Days after Special CBI judge, J.T. Utpat reprimanded BJP General Secretary Amit Shah for non-appearance in the court in relation to the fake encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, the judge was reportedly transferred to Pune yesterday. He has been replaced by Judge B.H. Loya.
On May 9, Judge Utpat had issued summons to all the 20 accused including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aide Amit Shah, former State DGP P C Pande, the then IGP CID crime Geetha Johri and Dy SP R K Patel. Shah was asked to appear before him. His counsel Robin Mogera was reprimanded last week for seeking continuous exemptions for his client without assigning proper reasons. He had also filed for exemption on June 6, citing health issues. The next date of hearing was fixed as 4th July. The Court was to decide upon the discharge application filed by Shah.
Gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh was claimed to have links to Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba. He, along with his wife Kauser Bi were abducted by Gujarat's Anti-Terrorism Squad when they were on way from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra and killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
Tulsiram Prajapati, an eye-witness to the encounter, was killed by police at Chapri village in Banaskantha district of Gujarat in December 2006. Amit Shah, the then Minister of State for Home was accused as being involved in with the incidents. Shah won the popular mandate in Uttar Pradesh during the Lok Sabha Elections in 2014, with BJP winning 71 out of 80 sets in UP.