In an action-packed day, the former Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah, presented himself before the Central Bureau of Investigation, was promptly arrested, produced in the court, sent to 14-day judicial custody and lodged in the Sabarmati Central Jail.
Mr. Shah claimed that the charges against him were “fabricated and politically motivated.”
Everything from his dramatic appearance before the media to his being jailed happened in quick succession and were completed within four hours, with the CBI refusing either to question him or seek his remand for questioning later. As the CBI did not seek his remand, Mr. Shah, who held the Jail portfolio till he resigned on Saturday, was sent to judicial custody by the special CBI court and by 4 p.m. was inside the jail.
Appearing before the media at the BJP headquarters in Ahmedabad, Mr. Shah said he would directly go to the CBI office in Gandhinagar in response to its summons and “answer their questions.”
Top CBI officials, headed by DIG P. Kandaswamy, who was investigating the case of Sohrabuddin fake encounter and murder of his wife Kausarbi, immediately rushed to the office and the entire old Secretariat building was cordoned off by the police.
When Mr. Shah reached the CBI office hours later, he was not even allowed to enter the second floor. On the staircase itself he was stopped by Mr. Kandaswamy and other officials and told that he was being taken to the court.
Mr. Shah wanted to know about questioning him, but the CBI officials told him they did not intend to go through any such session. There was no word of any formal arrest. In less than two minutes, he was back in the car and taken back to Ahmedabad to be produced before the court. He was taken to the Maninagar residence of Special CBI Judge A. Y. Dave, in whose court the CBI filed the charge sheet on Friday. The CBI did not press for his remand and instead wanted him to be sent to judicial custody, which was accepted by the judge. From there, he was taken to the jail.
PTI reports from Delhi:
Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi rejected the BJP allegation that the CBI had fabricated charges against Mr. Shah. He said the probe agency would not risk facing the wrath of the Supreme Court by filing a false case.