Provide Gujarat, Shah with docs in encounter case: SC to CBI

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) Supreme Court today directedthe CBI to furnish the Gujarat government and other accusedwith documents being relied upon by it for transferringoutside the state the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter casetrial allegedly involving former state minister Amit Shah.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha in anorder asked the CBI to furnish the State Government, Shah andother accused with copies of certain portions from the firststatus report submitted by the agency to the court in Junelast year.

The apex court passed the direction while posting toFebruary 23, hearing of the agency''s plea for transfer of thecase on the ground that the trial could not be held in a freeand fair atmosphere as " even the judge hearing it had become"servile" to Shah.

The bench passed the direction after senior counselRam Jethmalani appearing for Shah and Ranjit Kumar for theState Government insisted that certain material relied upon bythe agency to charge the accused have not been furnished tothem.

"It is wholly inconsistent with any principles,principles of natural justice or the Indian Evidence Act,"Jethmalani said during the arguments.

He submitted that the CBI had claimed 200 complaintsof extortion registered against the accused but there was noevidence to link Shah to any of the complaints.

CBI''s senior counsel K T S Tulsi argued thatobservations and opinions expressed by the investigatingofficers which is part of the case diary and status reportcannot be divulged to the accused at this stage.

"We will not use anything against you which is notsupplied to you," the bench told Jethmalani while directingthe CBI to furnish copies.

Besides, the state government, the apex court hadearlier notices to Shah and 18 others including suspended IPSofficers-D G Vanzara (DIG), Rajkumar Pandiyan (SP), both fromGujarat cadre, and M N Dinesh (SP) from Rajasthan cadre.

The CBI alleged in its application that "there wasopen servility and excessive demonstration of favourable andpartisan attitude to Shri Amit Shah by the learned AdditionalChief Judicial Magistrate.

"He was granted exemption from appearance even withoutgiving a hearing to the CBI," the agency claimed.

The CBI alleged that it received more than 200complaints of extortion, threats and other serious offencescommitted by the accused politician and police officers.

"The atmosphere in Gujarat is quite vitiated anddemoralising for the witnesses as well as the investigatingofficers.

"Hence, it has urged the apex court to transfer thecase from the court of the Additional Chief MM, CBI, Mirzapur,Ahmedabad to the court concerned at Mumbai or any otherstate," the CBI had said. (More) PTI RB

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