A court in Mumbai today dropped charges against Gujarat police officer Geeta Johri in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter killing cases.
Ms Johri was accused of delaying investigations and destroying case records. "Prosecution against Mr Jhori stands dropped for want of sanction," a special CBI court said.
Ms Johri was the Inspector General of police in 2005 when Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a petty criminal, and his wife Kausar Bi were pulled off a bus and kidnapped by the Gujarat police. Sohrabuddin and his wife were killed a few days later. Tulsiram, a key witness, was shot dead a year later. The police claimed he was trying to escape.
In 2006, Ms Johri headed investigations into the killings, after a petition filed by Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin in the Supreme Court.
Her inquiry confirmed that the encounter was a fake one and indicted several police officers. 13 police officers, including the controversial DG Vanzara, SP Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN were arrested on the evidence she listed.
The CBI's main allegation against Geeta Johri was that she was willing to bend rules under pressure. According to the CBI, she intentionally avoided linking the fake encounters to a political conspiracy, besides destroying crucial evidence.
Last month, one of the most controversial police officers in the Sohrabuddin case, DG Vanzara, left jail after eight years after being granted bail in another encounter killing case.
Before that in December, the special CBI court had said that there was no evidence to link BJP president Amit Shah, a former home minister of Gujarat, to the fake encounters.
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