The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to close aides of former Minister Amit Shah, against whom non-bailable warrants were issued in connection with Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

Justice R.H. Shukla granted bail to Yashpal Chudasama and Ajay Patel, who were declared absconding accused after they failed to appear before the CBI despite several warrants. Following the order they will have to be present before the CBI at its office in Gandhinagar or Mumbai.

The duo, close aides of former Gujarat Minister Shah and also office bearers of Ahmedabad District Cooperative (ADC) bank, have been absconding after their names appeared in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in the case.

Their counsel J.M. Panchal had contended in the High Court that Mr. Chudasama and Mr. Patel were not involved in the fake encounter which took place in November 2005, and their names cropped up only after CBI took over the probe.

Mr. Panchal had further argued that his clients could be booked for attempt to destroy evidence which was a bailable offence. He had submitted that his clients were not remotely connected with the fake encounter conspiracy, extortion and murder of witnesses as mentioned in the CBI chargesheet.