Former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, who was forced to leave the state during the pendency of his trial in Sohrabuddin fake encounter killing case, on Tuesday, moved the Supreme Court seeking its permission to return.
In an application filed before the apex court, he submitted that living outside his home state for the last 16 months has caused "irreparable hardship" to him and his family members.
"The applicant is 47 years of age and his entire family stays in Gujarat. In the facts and circumstances of the present case, a person in public life remaining out of his home state for 16 long months is nothing less than punishment more particularly when he is deprived of the warmth, support and cooperation of his family members and close relatives," he said in his 11-page application.
The apex court had on October 30, 2010, directed Shah to leave the state and ordered him to stay out till further order.
Pleading with the apex court to modify its order, Shah said "he will suffer irreparable injury and hardship if an appropriate order to the effect of modification of order of October 30, 2010, is not made."
"The applicant has remained outside his own state for approximately 16 months resulting into a situation where one of the largest assembly constituencies in the country, which has reposed faith in the applicant since four consecutive terms, is deprived of its representatives," he said.
Shah, a close aide of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation on July 25, 2010, and he had spent over three months in Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad.
Shah had to quit the Modi government in July last year after being slapped with charges of murder and kidnapping in the fake encounter killing of alleged gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi in 2005.
Shah has been accused by CBI of being the "kingpin" of the conspiracy leading to the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in November 2005 and the killing of two key witnesses, Kausar Bi and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati.
The agency had earlier urged the apex court to transfer the trial of the fake encounter killing case outside Gujarat on the ground that witnesses are being intimidated and the trial cannot be held in a free and fair manner.
Sohrabuddin and his wife were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat's Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
Prajapati, said to be an accomplice of Sohrabuddin, was also subsequently eliminated allegedly by ATS to destroy evidence as he was an eye witness, CBI said.