Ahmedabad: Setting aside a lower court order, the Gujarat High Court on Friday granted CBI two days' custody of former Gujarat minister Amit Shah who was arrested on July 25 in the Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
Justice Akil Kureshi gave the two-day custody of Shah, a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, to CBI though the central agency had sought his remand for ten days. The court also rejected the defence plea for videography of his questioning during the CBI custody. A special CBI court had earlier rejected the agency's plea for custody of 46-year-old Shah after which the CBI had approached High Court. Counsel for Shah, Mahesh Jethmalani, had wanted the entire proceedings during the two days' custody of Shah to be videographed, which was opposed by CBI lawyer K T S Tulsi. The CBI, in its petition, had sought quashing of the order passed by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A Y Dave rejecting its plea for remand of Shah.
Tulsi submitted that the magistrate had committed an error in holding that because cognisance of offence was taken in the case in which charge sheet has been filed, the power of police custody or remand was exhausted. Shah, a former Minister of State for Home who resigned from Modi Ministry after a charge sheet was filed against him in the case, was arrested by CBI on charges of murder, extortion and kidnapping. Shah's senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, opposing the remand by the CBI, submitted that the investigating agency had no evidence to arrest his client in the first place. He alleged that the arrest of Shah was to strike terror among other potential witnesses. Jethmalani said the CBI by giving a brief note to the magistrate in a sealed cover was attempting to mislead the court. PTI