The Supreme Court Tuesday transferred to the Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) the probe into the killings of Ujjain resident
Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi by a Gujarat police team
in November 2005.
A bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Aftab Alam ordered
the CBI to probe afresh the couple’s killing, and divested the state
police of the investigation.
Asking the Gujarat police to hand over to the CBI all documents and
probe reports pertaining to the killings, the bench directed the
central agency to complete its investigations preferably within six
apex court ordered the probe transfer to the CBI on a lawsuit by
Sohrabuddin’s brother, who expressed distrust of the state police
and pointed out several tell-tale lacunae in the investigation.
the facts and circumstances even at this stage, the police
authorities of the state are directed to hand over the records of
the present case to CBI authorities within a fortnight from this
date and thereafter the CBI authorities shall take up the
investigation and complete the same within six months from the date
of taking over the case,” the bench ruled.
“Authorities (of the CBI) shall investigate all aspects of the case
relating to the killing of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi,
including the alleged possibility of a larger conspiracy,” ruled the
With police teams of three states allegedly involved in the
killings, the apex court said: “We expect that the police
authorities of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan shall
co-operate with the CBI in the investigation.”
court transferred the probe to the CBI despite the fact that the
Gujarat police have already completed the probe and filed the charge
sheet in the case.
“Considering the nature of crime that has been allegedly committed
not by any third party but by Gujarat police personnel, the
investigation concluded in the present case cannot be said to be
satisfactorily,” said the bench.
“Since the high police officials of Gujarat are involved and some of
them had already been in custody, we are of the view that to instil
confidence in the minds of the victims as well as of the public, it
will not be sufficient to allow state police itself to continue with
the investigation,” said the bench.
Sohrabuddin was allegedly shot dead by
the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in November 2005.
Soon after, Sohrabuddin’s wife Kausar Bi went missing. It was
alleged that his wife and the couple’s friend Tulsiram Prajapati,
who too was a witness to Sohrabuddin’s killing, were also killed by
the police to destroy evidence.
Deputy Inspector General D.G. Vanzara had, soon after the killing,
said that Sohrabuddin was killed in a police shootout and had dubbed
him a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist on a mission to assassinate Chief
Minister Narendra Modi and other prominent Bharatiya Janata Party
During the probe into the alleged staged killings, the state police
have booked several of its officers, including Vanzara and a police
officer from Rajasthan, and arrested them for their role in the