Sohrabuddin case: Mumbai court summons Rajasthan BJP leader
A Mumbai court Tuesday issued summons to Rajasthan's Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria and three others to appear before it June 4 in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shooting case, a CBI official said here.
"The court has taken cognizance and issued the summons directing the four people to appear before it June 4," Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Public Prosecutor Ejaz Khan told IANS.
Besides Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kataria, the others summoned include Andhra Pradesh Indian Police Service officer N Balasubramaniam, police inspector Shrinivas Rao, and RK Marbles director Vimal Patni.
The developments follow a supplementary charge sheet filed by CBI running into 500 pages with statements of 40 new witnesses added to the case, according to Khan.
Kataria becomes the second prominent politician involved in the case so far, the first being former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah.
The charge sheet has accused Sohrabuddin Sheikh of allegedly demanding Rs 24 crore from Patni as "protection money" which is said to be motive behind his killing.
Kataria was the conduit between Shah and Patni, and later Shah - then a minister in Chief Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet - planned the elimination operation with the help of Gujarat Police, according to CBI.
The Supreme Court had Sep 27 last year ordered the sensitive case ot be transferred to Maharashtra after the CBI said that witnesses were being threatened and the trial could not be conducted in a free and fair manner in Gujarat.
Shah had quit the cabinet after his involvement in the fake gunfight was revealed. He recently was elected legislator in the last Gujarat elections.
According to the CBI, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly kidnapped by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a "gunfight" near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
A year later, Tulsiram Prajapati, a prime witness to the incident, was allegedly killed in another staged gunfight in Chapri village of Gujarat's Banskantha district.