Friday, October 29, 2010

HC Grants Bail, Pulls Up CBI Court For Unwarranted Observations

HC Grants Bail, Pulls Up CBI Court For Unwarranted Observations

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Friday granted bail to former minister of state for home Amit Shah, who has been charged with masterminding the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter. Late on Friday night, Shah got out of jail. The CBI had arrested Shah on July 25 after a chargesheet was filed against him.

While granting bail to Shah, Justice R H Shukla pulled up the special CBI judge who had rejected bail to the former minister, observing that his freedom could be dangerous to witnesses. The lower court had observed that if Shah was given bail, it would be nothing else but a dent on the judiciary of the state as well as of the nation. But Justice Shukla has termed these observations as “unwarranted and unjustified”.
The high court has blunted CBI’s contention that Shah’s release could influence witnesses and evidence, as the judge observed that the case of other accused cops, who were denied bail earlier, was different from Shah’s. The cops have
been charged with active involvement in the alleged encounter, but Shah’s case is different. At least 14 policemen, including IPS officers D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, Abhay Chudasama and Dinesh M N of Rajasthan, are behind bars in this case.
The HC has also observed that the character of evidence produced by the CBI against Shah does not make out a case against the former minister “for the purpose of deciding his complicity” in the offence. Moreover, the judge has also taken into consideration the retractions made by witnesses like Azam Khan, Sohrabuddin’s brother Nayamuddin Sheikh and Noor Mohammed Goghari. The judge has observed that since Shah was in jail when witnesses were changing their statements, there is no suggestive evidence to prove that Shah has any links with the retractions.
The court allowed the bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and on condition that Shah will have to mark presence at CBI headquarters in Mumbai in the first week of every month for one year.


Jul 21 | CBI issues first summons for questioning junior home minister Amit Shah. Shah doesn’t appear

Jul 22 | Second summons issued. Once again, Shah doesn’t appear

Jul 23 | CBI files chargesheet before the special court, naming Shah as the conspirator

Jul 25 | Shah surrenders after addressing the media. Court sends him to judicial custody

Jul 26 | Shah moves for bail Aug 6 | HC grants 2-day CBI remand

Oct 8 | Bail plea rejected Oct 11 | Shah’s advocate Ram Jethmalani challenges the lower court’s order before HC

Oct 29 | HC grants bail

Conspiring the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh
Murder of Sohrabuddin & wife Kauserbi
Destruction of evidence
Illegal confinement

Amit Shah comes out of the Sabarmati jail on Friday

Amit Shah (top) with his supporters gathered outside his house in Naranpura who celebrated the leader’s return with bursting of firecrackers

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