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|January 19, 2001||
'The matter is now before the court'
Noted film director Mahesh Bhatt lauded the bold judgement given by Justice SS Parkar of the Bombay High court.
The judgement directed the prosecution to allow counsel Amit Desai to meet Bharat Shah in police custody and also give the copy of the remand application and FIR to him.
Bhatt denied the media reports that Shah's bail application have been rejected.
"I have spoken to Shah's lawyer and he has told me that the court has allowed him to meet Shah and also directed the prosecution to give copies of FIR and the remand application to the defence counsel.
When the counsel Desai did not press for the bail, I don't understand how can the media say that Shah's bail application has been rejected."
He admitted that he had met the union home minister LK Advani two days ago and discussed with him issues relating to film industry following the arrest of Bharat Shah.
"What is wrong with my meeting my home minister? Yes, I met him and discussed the Shah's arrest with him. He gave me a patient hearing"
Bhatt added angrily. "I asked him why the other agencies are also not investigating the matter so that the truth comes out. He told me that this is a state subject and unless the state asks for another probe he cannot do anything about it.
"He also told me that there are some tapes which relate Shah to underworld. But he is waiting for further investigations."
When asked if the industry has been shaken and why those who sought appointments from Shah to get finances for their films were now feeling shy to speak for him, Bhatt said that that is the way the film industry reacts.
"We can neither say that the Bombay police has done a good job nor can we tell them to stop probing further.
Naturally the film industry has been stunned by the kind of allegations that have been leveled against Bharat Shah by the Bombay police. I don't know why others have chosen not to speak to him. I wish some of them had the guts to say something."
The noted film director felt that since the investigations have entered a crucial stage in the Chori Chori Chupke Chupke case, it is essential that the whole thing is cleaned from top to bottom.
"When the film industry moves to the 21st century, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that the money used in film-making is clean, and devoid of any underworld connections."
Talking about the announcement by the studio owners in Andhra Pradesh, that the Bombay film industry producers and directors would have to give their sources of funding before they are allowed to shoot, Bhatt said that this was perhaps their way to prevent any trouble.
Bhatt said that the media has been over playing the issue. He requested the media to let the dust to settle down before he could give any opinion as to what really happened.
"I don't know if Bharat Shah has been made a scape goat.
"If one looks at one point of view, it looks as if he has been implicated.
"But if we look at the police point of view, we would ask why the Bombay police, headed by Police Commissioner MN Singh and other senior officers with unquestioned integrity, should arrest Bharat Shah. After all they have nothing personal against him.
"The matter is now before the court."
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