Gujarats former minister of state (home) Amit Shah appeared before a special CBI court in Ahmedabad in connection with Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case on Saturday morning. It was his first court appearance since he was allowed by the Supreme Court (SC) to enter Gujarat after nearly two years of exile.
Shah,who is the kingpin in Sohrabuddin as well as Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases,was the first one to appear before the court on a regular production,a procedure the accused have to follow twice in a month.
He came when the court had just started business to stay out of the limelight.
Surrounded by his supporters and several guards,Shah appeared before the magistrate at 10:40 am and left soon after completing formalities within minutes. Mitesh Amin,counsel for Shah,said the magistrate took note of Shahs appearance and let him go. Shah then left for CBI office in Gandhinagar to mark his presence as instructed by the apex court.
For Shah and over a dozen accused police officers,including four suspended IPS officers,Saturday was also the last day of their production before the special CBI court in Ahmedabad.
The SC has shifted the trial of the case to Mumbai. With todays production,the pack of Dirty Harrys will now be shifted to a jail in Mumbai.
The magistrate told the accused that all relevant documents related to the case will be sent to the Registrar General,Gujarat High Court,as per the procedure,who will hand over them to Bombay High Court in a couple of days. This process is likely to be completed by next week.
The shifting of trial will also end the wait of five years for the accused policemen who are yet to face trials since they were arrested in 2007,two years after the alleged gangster Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi were killed in a staged police shoot out.
In 2007,suspended IPS officers D G Vanzara,Rajkumar Pandian and Assistant Commissioner of Police N K Amin of Gujarat Police and Dinesh M N of neighbouring Rajasthan were arrested along with junior ranked officials.
Subsequently,suspended IPS Abhay Chudasma and former home minister Amit Shah were also arrested in the case by CBI in 2010.
Shah also faces arrest in the Tulsiram Prajapati case,in which he has been named as the main conspirator by the CBI. The special CBI court where the chargesheet is filed by CBI is likely to take cognizance on October 10.