Jethmalani pleads for bail for Amit Shah

Friday, October 22, 2010

GANDHINAGAR - Ram Jethmalani, counsel for former Gujarat minister Amit Shah, Friday termed the CBI court’s decision denying him bail in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shoot-out case as showing complete lack of judicial balance.

Pleading for bail for Shah before Justice R.H. Shukla, Jethmalani argued that Sohrabuddin was an extortionist and a racketeer and that the entire Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) exercise was politically motivated to tarnish the reputation of the former minister of state for home.

He said the Gujarat Police was honest in admitting that Sohrabuddin’s killing in 2005 in a staged shootout was a fake encounter. “There is no circumstantial evidence nor eye-witness to prove the conspiracy theory,”he added.

Arguing on behalf of the CBI, lawyer K.T.S. Tulsi said though the case was initially being investigated by the Gujarat Police, the Supreme Court had thought it fit to hand it over to the CBI pointing out that the motive behind the staged shootout has not been investigated. The deaths of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauserbi and his friend Tulsi Prajapati was to destroy human witnesses, the Supreme Court had reasons to believe.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court had also found certain discrepancies in the Action Taken Reports filed by the Gujarat Police, which failed to carry out impartial investigations.

The high court had Oct 12 issued notices to the state government and CBI following Amit Shah’s petition seeking bail and quashing of the lower court order that had rejected his plea.

Shah, an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case, had Monday filed a petition in the high court seeking bail and challenging the special CBI court’s order denying him bail.

Special CBI judge G.K. Upadhyay in his order dated Oct 8 refused to grant him bail on grounds that Shah may tamper with evidence, pressurize the witnesses by using his political clout and that grant of bail would dent the image of the judiciary.

Shah was arrested by the CBI July 25. Further hearing in the case is slated Oct 26.

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