The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered Amit Shah to leave Gujarat by Sunday morning and stay out of the state till the next date of hearing scheduled for 15 November. The decision was given on a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Shah, an accused in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court on Friday. The CBI decided to appeal against the High Court order, but reached the Supreme Court Deputy Registrar at 10.30 p.m. on Friday, requesting an urgent and special listing of the case for hearing to be fixed for Saturday. Normally, the case would have been listed on Monday.
Since the court was on leave on Saturday, the matter was heard at the residence of Justice Aftab Alam because of the CBI's urgent plea. Justice R.M. Lodha also participated in the hearing.
Senior advocate K.T.S. Tulsi, appearing for the CBI, submitted that there was a likelihood that Shah would influence the witnesses in the case. The Justices however did not cancel Shah's bail despite the CBI pressing for it. The Court asked the CBI to supply a copy of its petition to Shah by 6 November, asking him to reply by 12 November, after which the agency will file its rejoinder.
46-year-old Shah, a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, got a reprieve from the High Court which granted him bail three months after his arrest in connection with the Sohrabuddin case. He had quit the Narendra Modi government in July this year after being slapped with charges of murder and kidnapping in the fake encounter and killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi in 2005.