SC wants Sohrabuddin trial shifted out of Gujarat

As far as the bail (cancellation) is concerned,you are right that it has been pending for long and it must end now,one way or another.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: February 5, 2014 6:15:44 pm

The trial in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case,which involves former Gujarat minister Amit Shah as the prime accused,is likely to be shifted outside Gujarat,as the Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its “strong reservations” against holding the trial in the state.

A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai observed that while the CBI’s appeal for cancelling his bail had to be now decided one way or another,it might also pass an order on shifting the trial outside Gujarat on the next date of hearing.

“As far as the bail (cancellation) is concerned,you are right that it has been pending for long and it must end now,one way or another. However,so far as the trial is concerned,I have my strong reservations against holding the trial there. It must go to some other state,like to Bombay in Maharashtra,” said Justice Alam when senior advocate Ram Jethmalani requested the court to end the “exile” for Shah in the wake of the upcoming Assembly poll in Gujarat.

BJP leader Shah,who was arrested by the CBI in July 2010 and spent over three months in jail,has been in a kind of self-imposed exile since November 2010. He had assured the court that he would not enter Gujarat when the CBI had sought the bail cancellation.

Jethmalani reminded the court that his client was a politician and he got to be there for the Gujarat polls. “Let him be there under constant surveillance but don’t keep him away from his political life,” he said,also opposing CBI’s plea for transferring the trial.

Jethmalani told the court that CBI was not justified in asking for cancellation of bail after 18 months now and and that he would be adducing his arguments on cancellation of bail as well against the transfer on the next date,September 4. Jethmalani requested the court to also order for day-to-day trial in the case.

Meanwhile,senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam,who is appearing as an amicus curiae,threw a spanner in the case and said the CBI had failed to investigate if there was an inter-state “politician-policemen nexus” element involved in the encounter. “Police officers of three different states,Gujarat,Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh,have been found to be involved in this encounter….Has it irked the CBI that there could be a politician-policemen nexus?” questioned Subramaniam.

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