File photo of Sohrabuddin Shaikh. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Several police officers were on trial in the case. Most of the accused were junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
A special CBI court hearing the Sohrabuddin Shaikh "fake encounter" case said that all the witnesses and proofs were not satisfactory to prove conspiracy and murder.
The court observed that "circumstantial evidence were not substantial". All twenty-two accused in the case were acquitted by the court.
The special CBI court in its verdict said the government machinery and prosecution had put in a lot of effort with two hundred and ten witnesses brought but "satisfactory evidence didn't come and witnesses turned hostile".
"It is not the fault of the prosecutor if witnesses didn't speak," the court said. "I am helpless," the special CBI judge SJ Sharma observed while referring to witnesses turning hostile and proof not being satisfactory against the twenty-two accused in the case.
Sohrabuddin Shaikh was allegedly killed in a fake encounter in 2005. Several police officers were on trial in the case. Most of the accused were junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Sixteen of the thirty-eight accused in the chargesheet filed earlier by the CBI were already acquitted due to lack of evidence which included BJP chief Amit Shah, the then Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande and former senior Gujarat police officer D G Vanzara.
According to the CBI, Shaikh and his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Prajapati were abducted by Gujarat police from a bus when they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on the night of November 22 and 23, 2005.
Shaikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter on November 26, 2005 near Ahmedabad. His wife was killed three days later and her body was disposed away, the CBI had said.
A year later, on December 27, 2006, Prajapati was also shot dead in an alleged fake encounter by allegedly by Gujarat and Rajasthan police near Chapri on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.