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'Who says Sohrabuddin's wife has been killed?'

July 29, 2010 09:50 IST
In the first round of the political battle over the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, the Congress party has surely outsmarted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

But the legal battle and the Central Bureau of Investigation's serious charge that former Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah was involved in the case will be challenged in court, says Shah's Bharatiya Janata Party.

After the filing of the CBI chargesheet, Shah's legal case may seem hopeless to many. But in the courtroom, the perceptions circulating in the public realm will not be of any help to the CBI.

It is certain that Shah's case is a highly complex legal matter where the sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 will be discussed threadbare.

BJP spokesman Devang Nanavati tells's Sheela Bhatt that the Gujarat government does not know the fate of Kausar Bi, Sohrabuddin's wife in the concluding segment of the two-part interview.

Part I of the interview: 'Why is Gujarat being targeted?'

How do you explain the killing of Kausar Bi?

Who says Kausar Bi was killed? She is 'alleged' to have been killed.

It is not proved in a court of law that she has been killed. That is a charge, and that charge has to be proved. We can't have it both ways.

Once the matter is in court, then you should go by the rule of law and the court.

These are allegations and the charges. There is an allegation that Kausar Bi was killed. It has not been established as a matter of fact that she has been killed. The fake encounter case is related only to Sohrabuddin.

Amit Shah took such a long time to appear before the CBI...

Let us decide the timeline. On July 21, the summons was served at the residence of the minister of state at 11 am to appear before the CBI in two hours. Is it a long time?

How would you know ahead of time that the CBI is going to send you a summons?

When we said it is a short time for us, then they said they can give time for the next day.

Amit Shah asked for the copy of a questionnaire. He wanted to consult his party leadership, his government and his lawyers. This is a five-year-old case. He wrote to the CBI that he wants to cooperate. He wanted to verify his ministry's records.

The CBI was so eager and impatient to question Shah that they gave him just two hours notice.

But when he appeared before the CBI, they arrested him within three minutes and produced him before the magistrate in 15 minutes, and for the next two days they didn't even ask him a single question.

Without questioning Amit Shah they prepared the chargesheet of 30,000 pages and it was kept ready before he reached the CBI office.

The exercise was a facade by the CBI. This proves that the CBI's charges against Amit Shah were politically motivated.

Our allegation against the CBI is absolutely correct, that the Congress manipulates it.

Former Deputy Superintendent of Police N K Amin's lawyer has requested the court to allow him to turn an approver. Is it worrying Amit Shah?

Amin has filed an application that will be heard on August 2. We will have to see on what ground he is acting. The Supreme Court has laid out certain guidelines regarding Section 306 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which has a section relating to the turning of an approver.

After so much time that has gone by after the investigations started, if someone wants to be an approver, then the court has to see with great circumspection. Because if an accused wants to go free at the cost of another co-accused, the matter can't be taken lightly.

We have full faith in the court that they would see the point here. I would not like to discuss the merits or demerits of the case.

There was a sting operation recorded inside the jail where arrested police officer D G Vanzara is talking about Shah's involvement in the case with another arrested police officer.

It was allegedly a CBI sting operation where the tape recorder was smuggled inside the Sabarmati jail by another accused.

Again, I have not had the benefit of hearing that recording. One has to verify the audio. One has to see the legal evidentiary value.

The CBI can present anything as evidence. But the court will decide its evidentiary value.

See, hypothetically, even if we say that two co-accused are talking to each other and a third accused is overhearing and secretly recording the conversation, still the conversations of the co-accused cannot become ground for conviction.

Here we are going into the legality of the case. The matter is pending before the court. Let's not discuss them.

Mr Nanavati, you must have gone through the chargesheet.

No. I haven't gone through it. It was given to Shah's lawyer. It will take time to read 30,000 pages. The CBI has given it to the media in advance, and that's what we can see.

Don't you see the game that the chargesheet was given to the media much before the court ordered the CBI to give it to Shah?

Only when Shah's lawyer said that unless you give the chargesheet, Shah would not be able to cooperate in the case was the chargesheet handed over to him.

How is Amit Shah doing?

He should be alright. Amit Shah is a fighter.

Also Read:
What Amit Shah's fall really means
'This case is a turning point for Modi'
What the Supreme Court says about Shah

Sheela Bhatt