SC notice to top Modi aide in Sohrabuddin 'encounter' case

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah and others accused in the 2005 'encounter' killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh on a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation seeking the transfer of certain documents from Gujarat to a Maharashtra court.

"Issue notice to respondents returnable within four weeks," a bench of justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Madan B Lokur said.

Shah was arrested by the CBI on 25 July 2010 in connection with the case and spent over three months in Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad before being granted bail.

Along with Shah, suspended Deputy Inspector General of Police D G Banjara along with senior cops R K Pandiyan (both Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service officers) and Dinesh M N (Rajasthan cadre IPS officer) are the main accused in the case as well as N K Ameen, then Deputy Superintendent of Police. All of them except Shah are in jail.

The court's notice came on an application by the CBI, which is seeking a direction to get certain documents related to the case.

The apex court had on 27 September 2012 ordered the transfer of the Sheikh case to Maharashtra after the CBI alleged that witnesses were being intimidated and contended that trial cannot be held in a free and fair manner in Gujarat.

Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat's anti-terrorist squad (ATS) from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.