GUJRAT: Today, The Gujarat High Court granted anticipatory bail to former assistant solicitor general (ASG) I H Syed in a case lodged against him over alleged extortion, assault, and wrongful confinement of a businessman. Sayed was seeking Protection from the Court for the last three weeks.
The state failed to establish why Syed was required for custodial interrogation and the court of Justice Nikhil Kariel observed that apart from Syed’s presence at the site of the alleged offense, no specific role is attributed to him and even his presence at the site can be justified on the ground that he was appearing in his professional capacity as a lawyer.
Ahmedabad-based businessman, Viral Shah filed an FIR against him at the Pethapur police station in Gandhinagar on May 15. An FIR alleged that he was called to former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela’s residence in Gandhinagar to sign a settlement agreement on a business dispute.
During the meeting, Shah was allegedly threatened and pressured to sign the agreement and allegedly confined forcefully at the premises and assaulted after which he managed to flee in his car.
I H Sayed along with 5 other accused charged under IPC Sections 387 (putting a person in fear of death to commit extortion), 389 (putting the fear of accusation of offense to commit extortion), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 143, 149 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (provocation to break public peace), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) and 342 (wrongful confinement) were slapped against them.
The Court headed by Justice Karielagreed with Syed’s submissions, through senior advocate Mihir Joshi, that prima facie the FIR is the resultant of a dispute between private individuals and that Syed was merely a lawyer representing one of the other accused in a past FIR which was subsequently quashed with consent by the Gujarat High Court after the disputing parties, including complainant Shah, had reached a settlement term to resolve the dispute.
Justice Kariel, while granting anticipatory bail, has also directed Syed to remain present before the investigating officer in the case on June 14 between 11 am and 5 pm.
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