Modi is CBI's real target, Jethmalani says on Shah's arrest

Arguing before Special CBI Judge G K Upadhyay during hearing on Shah's bail plea here, he criticised the CBI for "making Sohrabuddin, a wanted criminal, a national icon".
"The aim of CBI was to get to the Chief Minister of the state (Modi), and Shah was the last step of the ladder to reach him," Jethmalani alleged, while seeking bail for his client Shah, who is behind bars since his arrest on July 25.

The senior counsel accused the probing agency of committing purjury and fabricating evidence against the former junior Home Minister. "By doing so, the Central agency has descended to the lowest mark of human character."

Alleging that CBI had tried to shut out the role of Andhra Pradesh police in the case, Jethmalani said this was because the southern state is ruled by Congress, which is not the case in Gujarat where a BJP Government is in power.

Jethmalani submitted that senior IPS officer Geeta Johri, who was investigating the case before it was transfered to CBI, was honest in admitting before the Supreme Court that she was blank on the aspect of involvement of Andhra Pradesh Police in the 2005 staged shootout.Jethmalani pointed out that the main ground for the apex court to transfer the probe, early this year, to CBI was that Johri was not able to determine identity of Andhra Police policemen involved in the case. (Sohrabuddin and his wife were coming from Hyderabad in a bus when they were reportedly intercepted by a Gujarat Police team and taken away).

He alleged that the FIR filed by CBI was "disgraceful and devoid of facts".Jethmalani placed before the court, what he claimed an internal letter of CBI, where the Investigating Officer in the case had sought permission from the agency's director to arrest some senior police officers and Shah.

The top criminal lawyer, during his arguments, praised the Gujarat Police for "showing integrity and honesty" in concluding that the encounter in November 2005 was fake, and implicating 13 police officers, including three of IPS rank, in the case.

Jethmalani contended that there were two chargesheets in the case, one filed by Gujarat CID, exonerating Shah and other by CBI that implicates the BJP leader. In light of this, the truth has to be determined by courts, he said.The argument of Jethmalani was partly over and further hearing is scheduled for September 22.

CBI senior counsel K T S Tulsi had sought time to file a reply to Jethmalani's arguments and will now do so by the next hearing.

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