Gujarat’s incharge DGP P P Pandey, an accused in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, has filed a discharge application, which is likely to come up for hearing at the special CBI court on January 12. Pandey, an accused in the case and currently out on bail, has cited his reinstatement and promotion as incharge DGP as one of the grounds, besides claiming that none of the 105 witnesses examined by the court have named him in the case.
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The officer moved the application that he be discharged from the case when the matter was being heard in the court of special CBI judge S J Raje. The matter could not come up for hearing after judge Raje recused himself around two months ago and is pending. “Two days ago, the Ishrat Jahan case was transferred to the court of special CBI judge J K Pandya who is likely to hear Pandey’s pending discharge application on January 12,” Pandey’s lawyer Paresh Nayak said.
In his application, DGP Pandey has said that he should be discharged as he does not have any “direct or indirect involvement in the case.” Pandey has said that since his involvement has not been established, he should not be considered as an accused. He has also argued that he was reinstated in state police and was even promoted by the state government to the post of in-charge DGP after he was let out on bail in connection with the same case.
He has pleaded before the court to consider this as one of the grounds to discharge him. Pandey has also pointed out that a supplementary chargesheet filed by the CBI in which IB officials including retired special IB director Rajinder Kumar have been named as accused, has not yet been taken on record by the court. In the first chargesheet filed by CBI in 2013, seven Gujarat police officers were named as accused including IPS officers P P Pandey, D G Vanzara and G L Singhal who are facing charges for kidnapping, murder and conspiracy.
The case pertains to a 19-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan, her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh along with two others being gunned down by the city crime branch officials in an alleged encounter on June 15, 2004 in the outskirts of the city.