Former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah wants recall of order entrusting the Sohrabuddin case to agency
The former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, arrested in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, has moved the Supreme Court for recall of its January 12 order entrusting the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
His application, settled by the former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani and filed on Wednesday, said: “The CBI has concocted false evidence, by coercing witnesses to make a false statement to fabricate false cases against the applicant and others and therefore the entire investigation of the CBI is malicious, politically motivated and illegal.”
Mr. Shah said the intention of the CBI “is to discredit Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘merchant of death,' destabilise the democratically elected Gujarat government and demolish, destroy and bring down the Chief Minister who is not only enjoying the majority support of the electorate but is repeatedly praised including as recently as in August 2010 by the media as the best among all Chief Ministers in the country.”
The “most shocking” aspect of the CBI probe was that Balwinder Singh (former Police Commissioner of Hyderabad), who ought to answer questions from any investigator of the Sohrabuddin encounter case on the role of the Andhra Pradesh police, “is now supervising the very investigation.”
Describing Sohrabuddin as a terrorist, the application said he was part of the Dawood gang in Gujarat. He had confessed before court about his terror links and there were 21 serious criminal cases pending against him, but the CBI was silent on this aspect. “It is evident that the CBI was acting in tandem with the ruling party [at the Centre] and was serving its political needs to carry on a political campaign against the Gujarat government, the applicant and the Gujarat Chief Minister.”
Mr. Shah said: “The prayers in this application are based on the ratio of the Antulay's case, in which an earlier judgment of a five-judge Bench was challenged and the same was recalled. Once a judicial satisfaction is reached that the impugned direction was a mistake of the court, it is the duty of the court to rectify the mistake by exercising its inherent powers.”
Having failed to tarnish the image of the Gujarat Government and its Chief Minister in the 2002 riots cases, the Congress and the Central Government under its rule now selected the Sohrabuddin case, out of over 700 encounters that took place all over India during 2002 -07, for the same “nefarious purpose,” Mr. Shah said.
“Likelihood of bias”
The January 12 order ought to be recalled as there was a reasonable possibility or likelihood that Justice Tarun Chatterjee (since retired) who, along with Justice Aftab Alam, passed it, was biased, and he suffered automatic disqualification. Justice Alam also ought to have recused himself from hearing the matter since he was aware that Justice Chatterjee was being questioned by the CBI in the Ghaziabad Provident Fund scam.