Gujarat Minister evades inquiry again, chargesheeted in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case

Facing the prospect of arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation “at any time” in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah remained untraceable on Friday, with the agency dispatching half-a-dozen teams to different areas to locate him.

On a day of swift developments, Mr. Shah evaded the CBI inquiry for the second consecutive day and found himself in a quandary, with the designated CBI court rejecting his plea for anticipatory bail.

Moving quickly to block Mr. Shah's escape routes, the CBI filed a charge sheet against the arrested Ahmedabad Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abhay Chudasma, in another designated CBI court naming Mr. Shah one of the co-accused.

The CBI had time till July 26 to file the charge sheet, when Mr. Chudasma would complete 90 days of his arrest. But it chose to file the charge sheet on Friday itself.

Even after making a statement on Thursday that he would appear before the CBI to “answer all questions” on Friday, Mr. Shah did not respond to the agency's second summons.

Instead, he sent his advocate Mitesh Amin to the CBI office here to seek more time and a questionnaire on the issues the CBI wanted to quiz him.

After the CBI rejected the demand for giving questions in writing and the request for more time, Mr. Shah's advocate rushed to the designated CBI court to file the anticipatory bail plea.

After two hours of hearing, judge G.K. Upadhyaya rejected the plea on grounds of insufficient causes.

Even as his advocates were examining the possibility of approaching the High Court, Mr. Shah apparently disappeared from places he is known to frequent.

Swift move

Even as Mr. Upadhyaya's court was hearing his bail plea, the CBI swiftly moved another special CBI court, of A.Y. Dave, and filed the charge sheet, arraigning Mr. Shah as one of the main accused in the fake encounter case, along with 14 police officers under arrest, including IPS officers, D.G. Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and M.N. Dinesh Kumar.

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