It’s not for the first time that former Gujarat minister Amit Shah has been accused of accepting a bribe.
In 2005, then additional DGP CID (crime) of Gujarat, Kuldeep Sharma, had in a letter to then chief secretary Sudhir Mankad categorically stated that Shah had taken Rs 2.5 crore to help cooperative bank fraudster Ketan Parekh get bail from court.
Parekh was one of the main accused in the Rs 1,600 crore Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank (MMCB) scam.
In his letter, Sharma had given details of how a deal was struck between Shah and Parekh through a middleman, Girish Dani. As per the details, a criminal case was registered in Ahmedabad in 2001 regarding cheating and fraud to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore committed by the Mumbai-based Parekh in the MMCB.
The case was, however, transferred to the CBI, Mumbai. Parekh was later arrested by the CBI, but given bail by the court of Ahmedabad chief metropolitan magistrate on the condition that he would deposit Rs 380 crore in the MMCB.
The MMCB challenged the bail in the Gujarat High Court, but the court upheld the magistrate’s bail order. The MMCB then filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of Parekh’s bail.
The apex court on May 2003 issued notices to Parekh and others for cancellation of his bail. But the bank withdrew the SLP prematurely after a meeting between Shah and Parekh in the first week of October 2004.
“It was decided at the meeting that Shah would organise the withdrawal of SLP by using his position as a director of the Madhavpura Bank. In return, Parekh paid Rs 2.5 crore to Shah at the meeting,” Sharma’s letter said.
Sharma had said in the letter that the CBI should probe the allegations. But Narendra Modi’s government buried the letter and Sharma was moved out from CID (crime).