A Special CBI court on Monday reserved its order on the application seeking arraignment of BJP general-secretary Amit Shah and former Director General of Police K R Kaushik in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. The court will pronounce the order on Thursday.
Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh alias Javed Sheikh, who was among the four killed in the alleged fake encounter case, has filed the application, claiming that there was enough evidence against Shah and Kaushik to make them accused in the case.
Appearing on behalf of Pillai, lawyer Shamshad Pathan told the court that the statements of witnesses and Call Detail Record (CDR) clearly say that Shah and Kaushik were very much part of the encounter and therefore they should be made accused in this case. Following court’s notice, CBI filed its reply last week, stating that it doesn’t have sufficient evidence against Shah, whereas Kaushik is a witness in the case. The CBI requested the court to reject the application. Appearing on behalf of Shah, senior lawyer S V Raju said prima facie there was no evidence against his client.
“The statements of witnesses are bad in law and a part of sinister design. Those who gave statements were themselves part of the encounter team. They were named in the FIR and then turned witnesses. They gave statements in favour of CBI so that they could get bail,” Raju told the court, adding that G L Singhal’s statement to CBI is also a part of the design through which many accused were released on bail after the probe agency didn’t file the chargesheet in the stipulated 90 days.
He also said that the statements of witnesses, who were initially accused, have been challenged in the Supreme Court where it has been pending. P M Thakkar, who appeared for Kaushik, also said that there was no cogent material on record to show the involvement of his client in the case. He said that Kaushik was on leave when the encounter took place.
CBI counsel, while praying to reject the application, said, “Kaushik is our best witness and if his name was mentioned in the FIR, it doesn’t mean that he should have been chargesheeted. Therefore, at this stage, the application kindly be rejected.”