The Supreme Court Thursday reserved its order on a CBI plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to former Gujarat minister Amit Shah by the state high court and the transfer of trial in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged-shootout case outside Gujarat to Mumbai.
However, the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai indicated that it might grant bail to former minister of state for home Amit Shah, subject to certain conditions but transfer the trial in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case to Mumbai.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in a staged shootout by Gujarat police in 2005. Shah was in the Gujarat cabinet when the killing took place.
On a query from the court as to what assurances Amit Shah could give that he would not interfere with the investigation and the course of the trial, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani told the court that Amit Shah would give an undertaking that he would not do so.
If he (Amit Shah) breaches it, Jethmalani said, he would not appear to defend him but to prosecute him.
Taking exception to the conduct of the Gujarat government in the course of the hearing, the court said the Gujarat government, instead of being an ally of the court in reaching to the bottom of the case, has acted in an adversarial manner, often adopting a hostile attitude.
Shah was named as an accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s killing in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) described him as a head of extortion syndicate in Gujarat. Shah was arrested by the CBI July 25, 2010, for his alleged involvement in Sohrabuddin’s killing.