New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which had the final hearing of the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter case on December 5 will give its verdict in the case on December 21.

The CBI in its earlier hearing had alleged that hostile witnesses hampered the probe. Investigators said the killings were meant to silence the men, who were instrumental in an extortion racket that the police of three states– Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh — were running at the behest of their political bosses.

The final arguments in the matter ended after lawyers of all the 22 accused made their submissions before special CBI judge SJ Sharma. Most of the accused are policemen from Gujarat and Rajasthan.

During the trial, the prosecution examined 210 witnesses, of which 92 turned hostile. CBI counsel BP Raju on Wednesday said they entered into the frame after five years and witness examination began 12 years after the crime was committed due which there was some “lacuna” in the probe.

According to the CBI, Sohrabuddin Shaikh, a suspected gangster with terror links, and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in alleged fake encounters in 2005 by the Gujarat Police. His aide Tulsiram Prajapati, who had witnessed the twin killings, was shot dead in another staged encounter in 2006 by police personnel from Gujarat and Rajasthan, the central agency has said in its chargesheet.

The case was initially probed by Gujarat Central Investigative Department (CID) before being transferred to the CBI in 2010 by the Supreme Court. All the three incidents were clubbed into one case by the apex court.