Mumbai: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court is likely to pronounce on Friday the verdict in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh-Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter case of 2005 in which 22 persons, most of them policemen, are on trial. (Also read: HC Upholds Discharge of Vanzara, Four Others)

The case has attracted attention as BJP chief Amit Shah, who was then Minister for Home in Gujarat, was one of the accused before being discharged in 2014. Others discharged include former DIG in Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) DG Vanzara, and Gulab Chand Kataria, then Home Minister of Rajasthan and Gujarat Police chief PC Pande.

However, chief investigating officer of the case, Sandeep Tamgade told the court that Shah and three IPS officers were the main conspirators behind the alleged fake encounters. Tamgade, who deposed during the trial, however, conceded that his claim was not supported by any documentary evidence in the charge sheet filed by him.

“From the investigation done by us, we found the principal conspirators were Amit Shah, DG Vanzara (former Deputy Inspector-General Gujarat Police), Rajkumar Pandian (SP, Intelligence Bureau) and MN Dinesh (IPS officer, Rajasthan Police),” he said.

During the trial, as many as 92 prosecution witnesses turned hostile.

The Sohrabuddin killing case, which had generated much political heat, was transferred to the CBI in 2010. The Special CBI court, which has examined 210 witnesses during the trial, had on December 5 reserved its order in the sensitive case.

Initially, 38 people were made accused in the case. However, during the trial, 16 of them were discharged for want of evidence.

After the final arguments were wrapped up, Special judge for CBI cases SJ Sharma had said he will pronounce the verdict on December 21. Most of the accused are junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan.