Stay out of Gujarat: SC to Shah

Ex-minister will be immune to claims of evidence tampering: Lawyer

Stay out of Gujarat: SC to Shah

The court was hearing a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition seeking a stay on a Gujarat High Court order giving bail to Shah in the controversial case. The court was held at the residence of Justice Aftab Alam since it was a holiday on Saturday.

After hearing the preliminary arguments, a Bench of Justices Alam and RM Lodha gave an interim order asking the former minister to leave the state.

The court also asked Shah to file his reply to the CBI petition by November 12 and the investigating agency will file a rejoinder before November 15.

Shah’s lawyer, reacting to the Supreme Court order, said by fulfilling this condition, the former minister would be “immune” from any allegations of tampering with evidence.

“In the interest of justice, Shah has been asked to remain out of Gujarat; this happens many times when the investigating agency and the prosecution feel the presence of the delinquent is not desirable. This is nothing unusual,” Shah’s lawyer Nirupam Nanavati said on Saturday.

“This is a temporary measure till November 15, when further hearing of the case will be taken up by the Supreme Court and Shah will comply with it,” he added.

The CBI had filed a petition by Friday evening, the day Shah was granted bail, seeking its cancellation, praying that he might abuse his authority to influence the witnesses.
Shah, who was arrested on July 25, was granted bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and a surety of an equal amount.

A BJP legislator from Sarkhej in Ahmedabad, Shah was lodged in the Sabarmati jail. The CBI alleged that Shah was involved in the conspiracy to eliminate Sohrabuddin  and two key witnesses, Soharabuddin’s wife Kausarbi and his close aide Tulsiram Prajapati in 2005.

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