Ahmedabad: Even after getting an arrest warrant against former Dhari MLA Nalin Kotadia, the Gujarat Police’s CID Crime couldn’t nab him as he has gone underground ever since his name had come up in the infamous Bitcoin extortion case. On Tuesday, the investigators moved court urging it to declare the former MLA accused in the Bitcoin case to be absconding. The court has reserved its decision on this hearing.

The CID had first issued summons to Kotadia to appear before them as he was accused as one of the main conspirators in extorting bitcoins from Surat-based real-estate developer Shailesh Bhatt. But as he failed to appear before the CID, they got an arrest warrant and had reached his residences, but he had long made his escape good. Even Kotadia’s driver Razak Siddiqui was missing. The CID had got a tip-off from a parallel secretive investigation that Kotadia was hiding in a cowshed somewhere in Amreli, but the police team couldn’t find him there too.

The CID even contacted every single person on Kotadia’s call list, but each one of them claimed to be unaware about his whereabouts. The investigators informed the court about their failure to find Kotadia at all possible places and even presented the lookout notice they had issued to prevent the former MLA from escaping country.

The court has kept its decision reserved on the matter, but according to CrPC 82, once the warrant is issued for a person’s arrest, the person in question is automatically considered to be absconding. But on the other hand, the complainant in the Bitcoin extortion, Shailesh Bhatt, is also accused in a 150 crore and has gone underground too. Bhatt has applied for anticipatory bail and the hearing for the same is scheduled for June 14. He has also filed a petition in high court to quash the charges against him.

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