Supreme Court gives Shah more time to reply to CBI plea

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Wednesday gave former Gujarat minister Amit Shah another eight days to reply to an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking cancellation of his bail in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake shootout case.

Shah was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court Oct 29.

An apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha gave more time to Shah, former minister of state for home, after senior counsel Uday Lalit pleaded for this.

Shah was arrested by the CBI July 25 for his alleged involvement in the killing. He was granted bail by the high court on his executing a personal bond of Rs.1 lakh along with a surety of like amount.

Shah was to submit his reply by Nov 12 and the case was listed for hearing Nov 15. Now, he Shah can submit his reply by Nov 20.

The court gave the CBI four days to file its rejoinder to Shah’s reply by Nov 24. The court has directed the listing of the matter Nov 29.

As per Oct 30 order of the court, Shah would remain away from Gujarat till Nov 29.

This order was passed when the CBI appeal seeking a stay on the high court order granting bail to Shah was heard by the bench at Justice Alam’s residence Oct 30.

The court in its earlier hearing had directed Amit Shah to stay away from Gujarat after the CBI told the court that if his bail could not be cancelled then he should not be allowed to stay in the state as he could apply pressure on witnesses to turn hostile.

The CBI in its appeal accused Shah of being a part of “criminal conspiracy” and giving “illegal instructions” to the then additional director general of police G.C. Raiger regarding investigations into the killing.

The appeal said that Raiger was “immediately and unceremoniously” transferred on Feb 3, 2007, for not carrying out the orders of Shah.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh was gunned down Nov 26, 2005 and his wife died in mysterious circumstances a few days later.

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