SC reserves order on CBI's plea to cancel Amit Shah's bail

Sep 06, 2012, 13:43 IST | Agencies

The Supreme Court today reserved its order on CBI's plea for cancellation of former Gujarat minister Amit Shah's bail in the case of fake encounter killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and for shifting the trial of the case outside the state.

"We are going to pass a very brief order," said a bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai. 

It added it would also consider Shah's plea for permission to enter the state in view of the upcoming assembly elections there.

During the two-hour-long hearing, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani said Shah is ready to accept any condition to continue on bail and is willing to give even an undertaking that he would not in any way, influence the trial.

The CBI has sought cancellation of Shah's bail saying he cannot be put on higher pedestal than other accused in the Sohrabuddin case who have been denied bail.

The agency added it has filed a charge sheet in the case of Tulsiram Prajapati killing two days ago, in which Shah and erstwhile top police officials have been charge-sheeted.

The CBI said Prajapati was a witness in the Sohrabuddin case and his killing was part of a larger conspiracy in which Shah, as the then head of the state administration, was involved.

The apex court on August 28 had said it would consider allowing Shah to enter the state in view of the upcoming assembly polls but would like the trial of the case to be shifted to Maharashtra.

It had also asked the CBI to take a decision within couple of days on its probe relating to the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati, who was one of the key witnesses in the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.

Prajapati, said to be a Sohrabuddin's accomplice, was also subsequently eliminated allegedly by ATS because he was an eyewitness to the couple's killings, the CBI had said.

Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was arrested by the CBI on July 25, 2010 and had spent over three months in Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad.

Shah had to quit the Modi government in July last year after having been slapped with kidnapping and murder charges in the fake encounter killing. He has been accused by the agency of being the "kingpin" of the conspiracy in the fake encounter killing of Sheikh.

The agency had earlier urged the apex court to transfer the trial of the fake encounter killing case outside Gujarat arguing that witnesses are being intimidated and the trial cannot be held in a free and fair manner.

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