Amid high drama,additional DGP P P Pandey,who is an accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case,appeared Monday before a special CBI court on a stretcher accompanied by two nurses to seek anticipatory bail and won relief from arrest till July 31.
The court,presided over by special CBI Judge Gita Gopi,asked Pandey to appear on July 31 before the CBI magisterial court,which had issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him after declaring him a proclaimed absconder for having repeatedly dodged summons from CBI,which is probing the case.
Pandey,who had gone underground months ago,was earlier ordered by the Supreme Court to appear before the CBI court on Monday.
However,in the morning,the senior IPS officer was taken to Chandramani Hospital in Shahibaug area of Ahmedabad from where he was brought by an ambulance to the court late afternoon.
The hospital is run by Dr K M Aggrawal,who said Pandey suffered from diabetes,chest pain and also had fever.
In the courtroom,Pandey,who was surrounded by friends and relatives,remained motionless till about 8.15 pm when the court pronounced its order. However,he was spotted chewing a mix of betel nuts and paan masala.
Pandeys counsel Nirupam Nanavaty argued that as per the FIR registered by CBI,there were 20 accused in it. However,in its chargesheet filed on July 3,the agency had “exonerated” 13 of them and charged only seven officers. Among these seven,he added,four had been out on default bail.
With this,he argued,Pandey’s arrest was not required since investigation related to him was already over and chargesheet filed.
Nanavaty also argued that Pandey had co-operated with the investigation and that it was only when CBI started witch-hunting that he approached various courts.
Pandey also argued that several police officers who were named as accused in the FIR were converted into witnesses. They have been lured to say something against me, Nanavati alleged on behalf of Pandey.
Pandeys application was fiercely opposed by additional solicitor general Indira Jaising,who appeared on behalf of CBI.
Jaising stated that Pandey,being a senior police officer,had absconded and a CBI court had proclaimed him an absconder while issuing a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him for July 31. Jaising argued that Pandey’s petition was not maintainable as there was an NBW pending against him.
She also argued that Pandey had tried to by-pass the directions of the SC by moving anticipatory bail petition instead of appearing before the magisterial court for the NBW against him.
According to Jaising,the SC had ordered Pandey to appear before the court concerned on Monday and that court was the court of additional chief judicial magistrate,and not of the sessions judge. Look at his conduct…the strategy that he has adopted. He does not want arrest by hook or crook. By means fair or foul, she added.