Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

CBI court denies accused cops access to witnesses’ statements

vanzara-m These witnesses are the policemen who gave statements against their own colleagues before the CBI investigators. (Source: PTI/file)
Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Posted: July 25, 2014 1:53 am | Updated: July 25, 2014 1:54 am

A CBI special court on Thursday rejected an application moved by Ishrat Jahan encounter case accused IPS officers G L Singhal and D G Vanzara (retd), seeking the previous statements of witnesses in the case recorded by the Gujarat High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) and Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch.

Singhal’s lawyer Brijrajsinh Jhala said the special CBI judge Gita Gopi rejected the application, stating that since the High Court hailed that DCB’s FIR was fake, there is no need to furnish previous statements of the witnesses.

These witnesses are the policemen who gave statements against their own colleagues before the CBI investigators. However, their previous statements before the SIT were different from what they had told the CBI. In fact, these witnesses were shown as accused in the encounter case by the SIT.

“These statements are important for our case. The CBI witnesses have given contradictory statements in the past. We will appeal against the order in the High Court,” Jhala said.

The CBI has cited names of retired DSPs D H Goswami, K M Vaghela, ex Ahmedabad Police Commissioner K R Kaushik, Police Inspector Bharat Patel, among others. In the FIR lodged by SIT, these police officers were shown as accused, but they turned witnesses before the CBI.

The case has hit a dead end, as CBI awaits a nod from Ministry of Home Affairs to prosecute four accused officials of Intelligence Bureau.
The chargesheet against them is pending before a CBI court since February this year. In the meantime, of the seven other accused policemen, IPS officer G L Singhal and head constable Anaju Chadhary have been reinstated in the police department.

While the other accused — suspended ADGP P P Pandey, retired IPS officer D G Vanzara, suspended DSP Tarun Barot — are lodged in jails in judicial custody.

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