Ahmedabad: Citing insufficient evidence, the CBI today gave a clean chit to Narendra Modi's close aide and Gujarat's former Home Minister Amit Shah in the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others in 2004.
Shah is currently the campaign committee incharge for the state of Uttar Pradesh for BJP.
"There is no sufficient evidence against Amit Shah. Hence CBI has not charge-sheeted him," CBI Inspector Vishwas Kumar Meena said in an affidavit filed before the special CBI court. "It is most respectfully submitted that Shah was not named in the FIR of the case. CBI has also not named him in the charge sheet as an accused," he said.
The premier investigating agency also sought dismissal of the plea by Gopinath Pillai, father of Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, who was among those killed with Ishrat, to arraign Shah and the then Ahmedabad police Commissioner K R Kaushik in the case. Pillai had cited the resignation letter of suspended IPS officer and an accused in the Ishrat Jahan case D G Vanzara in support of his petition.
Vanzara, once considered close to Modi, had in September last year announced his resignation from the IPS, accusing the state government of not protecting police officers jailed in connection with alleged staged encounter cases. He had then claimed those officers had "simply implemented the conscious policy" of the state government.
Several allegedly fake encounters of claimed terrorists, including those of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his associate Tulsiram Prajapati, had taken place when Shah was Minister of State for Home. Shah, an accused in both cases, is presently out on bail. In his resignation letter, Vanzara had targeted Shah, whom he described as an "evil" influence on Modi.
The CBI, in its affidavit today, said, "The said resignation letter contains general allegations and not providing any concrete information about the role of Shah in this offence. After receiving the letter, CBI examined Vanzara in the Jail. However, he has not disclosed any further details during his examinations."
Apart from giving a clean chit to Shah, BJP general secretary and Modi's pointsman in the key battleground state of Uttar Pradesh, the CBI also said there was no evidence against Kaushik to show his involvement in the encounter and so he was made a witness in the case.