In one-of-its-kind case, a person seeking anticipatory bail allegedly hatched a conspiracy to call a Gujarat High Court judge in the name of a local Congress MLA to make himself look like being framed by the legislator in order to influence the judge. Accordingly, the call was made to the judge who took it seriously and ordered a police probe which on Thursday busted the whole scheme of things.
It has been revealed that Vijay Shah, a resident of Anand district who is seeking advance bail, had allegedly asked one Alpesh Patel, also a resident of Anand district, to call high court justice Bela Trivedi the day she was going to hear the bail plea and identify himself as Niranjan Patel, a Congress MLA from Petlad constituency in Anand district. It was to portray that the legislator was behind the petitioner's impending arrest in a case of rioting, unlawful assembly and epidemic act.
As per the plan, a call was made to justice Trivedi on her official mobile number on June 22. The caller identified himself as "Niranjan Patel" and started talking about the bail petition listed on that day when the judge disconnected the call. The caller made more three calls which were not answered by the judge. The caller, then, sent a text message on Whatsapp stating, "the Criminal Case No.8266 of 2020 Vijaybhai Arvindbhai .. ma aje muddat che," (today is the date of hearing)."
Justice Trivedi described the incident as "unprecedented" and ordered an inquiry which revealed that the phone number was registered in the name of one "Tosif Faiz Xerox." Subsequently, Anand district superintendent of police Ajit Rajian was ordered to record the statement of the Petlad MLA Patel and the Tosif who has been identified as Tosif Vohra. Petlad MLA denied having made such a call but revealed that he has a family relationship with Vijay Shah who also belongs to Congress and had helped in the election.
Meanwhile, Tosif told police that on June 22, a person with a black mask on his face had come to his shop and requested if he could use his phone to make an urgent call to Delhi. Tosif gave his phone to the masked man who stayed in the shop for 10 minutes and pretended that he couldn't make the call. After Tosif refused to take money, the masked man bought packets of mouth fresheners worth Rs 30. This has been captured in the CCTV footage of Tosif's shop which the police have obtained.
On Thursday, the police traced the masked man who has been identified as Alpesh Patel. He has reportedly admitted that he made the call at the instance of Vijay Shah and his wife Vignatri. Alpesh told the court, through video conferencing arranged at Superintendent of Police office, that "he was told by Vijaybhai that if he made such a call and sent messages in the name of Niranjanbhai Patel, M.L.A., who was on the opposite side, he i.e.Vijaybhai would be granted anticipatory bail." As a matter of fact, the lawyers of Vijay Shah had also told the court that "the MLA wanted to see the petitioner in jail."