Gujarat minister’s bail plea rejected (Second Lead)

July 23rd, 2010 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, July 23 (IANS) A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Friday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, who has been named as an accused in the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake shoot-out.
The chargesheet in the case names 18 people, including 15 police officers who are in jail and three others who are still out, including the minister.

The charges include murder and conspiracy, besides others.

Shah Friday approached the court for bail after failing to answer a CBI summons for the second consecutive day, even as the agency filed a chargesheet against former deputy commissioner of police Abhay Chudasama in the case.

The statements from Shah and his lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani on Thursday notwithstanding, the minister did not turn up at the CBI office. He had been summoned to appear at 1 p.m. on Thursday and at the same time Friday.

Instead, lawyer Mitesh Amin, with an authorization from Shah, came to the CBI office seeking a list of questions that the investigating agency planned to ask the minister. The CBI is reported to have turned down the plea.

Even as the minister’s lawyers later knocked at the doors of the CBI court seeking anticipatory bail, the agency moved to file the chargesheet against Chudasama.

In a statement on Thursday, Shah had cited the short time given to him as the reason for his inability to answer the summons.

He had stated that he would make himself available for questioning by the CBI on Friday before the 1 p.m. deadline. However, the minister seems to have changed his mind and instead sent an emissary wanting a list of questions that the CBI proposed to ask before deciding on his appearance.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has been accused of killing Sohrabuddin near Ahmedabad. His wife Kauser-bi has also been missing since then.

Shah has been accused of calling up policemen involved in the killing of Sheikh, who police claimed was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative. The CBI collected the phone records of the minister to prove his role in the execution of the staged killing, sources said.

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