New Delhi, Jan 19 (Agencies): The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the Gujarat government's response on CBI's plea to transfer outside the state the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which former state Home Minister Amit Shah and senior police officers are accused.

While seeking the response, a bench of justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha issued notices to the state and 19 others, including various accused police officers.

Senior counsel K T S Tulsi, appearing for the agency, had made the plea before the bench.

After issuing notices, the court posted the matter for further hearing to January 27.

The CBI has sought transfer of the trial outside the state on the ground that the case involved Gujarat's former home minister and several senior police officer having considerable influence in the state and that it had vitiated the atmosphere for a free and fair trial.

The CBI had moved the apex court last week for shifting the trial outside the state.

The bench on Wednesday issued the notices after Tulsi apprised the court of the CBI's petition pending with the court's registry.

In its petition, the CBI had said that relatives of some of the accused happen to be public prosecutors and even judges in the state's lower judiciary.

The investigating agency had also cited the surcharged atmosphere in the trial court because of the presence of supporters of Shah and former police officials, as another
ground for transfer of the trial.

The CBI has also alleged that witnesses have been threatened and kidnapped in the past, making it impossible to hold a free and fair trial in the state.

It alleged that several types of pressure tactics were being employed to derail the probe from reaching the real culprits due to involvement of high-profile people as accused in the case.

The CBI had filed a formal petition for shifting of the trial outside the state after the apex court, during the hearing of the case on December 14, had questioned the agency's act of making the plea informally.