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Amit Shah's bail plea rejected, arrest imminent

Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah's anticipatory bail plea was today rejected by a special CBI court in Ahmedabad. Shah is likely to be arrested in connection with the Sohrabuddin case. Listen to podcast

india Updated: Jul 23, 2010 21:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah's anticipatory bail plea was on Friday rejected by a special CBI court in Ahmedabad. Shah had applied for anticipatory bail after the CBI had issued him two summons to appear before it in connection with the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

The CBI has booked Shah for murder and criminal conspiracy. The agency has also charged him for destroying evidence.

The CBI had earlier sent teams to various places to find Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The deadline to appear before the CBI expired at 1 pm on Friday.

According to media reports, a CBI team went to his office and questioned his personal secretary.

Earlier in the day, the CBI turned down Shah's request for more time to appear before it in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

Shah had sought more time to appear before the investigative agency and his legal team said that there was a lack of sufficient time in the notice issued to the minister.

His lawyers also asked for the questions to be put up before Shah when he meets the CBI team. However, the CBI said their was no list of questions prepared for Shah.

A member of the CBI probe team had said on Thursday: “We have crucial evidence that suggests the involvement of Shah in the conspiracy to eliminate gangster Sohrabuddin in a staged shootout."

"He knew of the encounter and also consented to police officials eliminating the gangster," the official added.

Shah has maintained that he has always upheld the Constitution and followed the rule of the law and that the CBI is working with a malice towards him as he has done nothing wrong.

Two associates of Shah, have already admitted to the CBI that they were involved in bribing and threatening some witnesses at the minister's behest.

Besides, evidence gathered by the CBI points to Shah's involvement– right from hatching the murder plan to pressuring police officials during the investigation, destroying evidence and threatening witnesses, the CBI official said.

The evidence includes records of phone calls made by Shah to police officers allegedly involved in Sohrabuddin's killing before and during the fake encounter.

On November 24, 2005, Rajasthan resident Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and a third person, Prajapati Tulsi, were abducted allegedly by the police from a bus stand in Gujarat.

Two days later, Sohrabuddin was allegedly killed by a joint police team from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kausar Bi was also allegedly killed later but her body was never found.

Tulsi, the sole witness, too was killed in a fake encounter a year later.

In January 2010, the Supreme Court, on a plea by Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin, handed over the case to the CBI, saying the Gujarat Police were trying to shield those involved in the killing.

Shah, who ignored the CBI notice to appear before it on Thursday, later said he would present himself before the agency on Friday.

Shah had virtually gone into hiding for the past four months after his confidant, senior Gujarat police officer Abhay Chudasama, was arrested by the CBI in connection with Tulsi's murder.

First Published: Jul 23, 2010 12:43 IST