The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected the transit anticipatory bail plea of filmmaker Avinash Das, who was booked by the Gujarat police for sharing a photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah along with Jharkhand cadre IAS officer Pooja Singhal, who was recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A vacation Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing a plea filed by advocate Adil Khatri seeking transit anticipatory bail for Mr. Das.
The court rejected the plea and directed him to approach the appropriate forum for relief. The court said the First Information Report was registered against Mr. Das, 46, at Ahmedabad, which is not too far from Mumbai, therefore he should move the court there for protection from arrest.
Ms. Singhal, 44, was arrested by the ED early this month in a money laundering investigation linked to alleged embezzlement of MGNREGA funds in Jharkhand’s Khunti district and other financial irregularities. She is a 2000 batch IAS officer suspended by the Jharkhand government and is currently in the ED custody.
According to an official from the Ahmedabad police’s Detection of Crime Branch, Mr. Das had shared the photo on his Twitter handle on May 8. The photo had Mr. Shah and Ms. Singhal at a public event five years ago, but as per the probe, Mr. Das tweeted the picture to mislead people and defame the Minister’s reputation.
Mr. Das has directed the film Anaarkali of Aarah starring Swara Bhaskar, Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi.