Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday claimed that with CBI not naming Amit Shah in its charge sheet in the Ishrat Jehan encounter case, Congress’ “malicious” campaign against the former Gujarat minister of complicity in the case “stands demolished”.
The Opposition party, however, raised the sensitive issue of senior intelligence officials involved in covert operations against terror being subjected to criminal prosecution and sought a debate on it as this will dissuade them from taking initiatives in their fight against terror.
“Today the CBI did not find any evidence against Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jehan encounter case and consequently he was not named in the charge sheet,” BJP’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“For the last so many years, Congress party, both in Gujarat and at the national level, had undertaken a malicious, motivated and systematic campaign against Amit Shah of complicity in the Ishrat Jehan case. That campaign stands demolished today and the truth triumphs,” he said.
Seeking a debate on the issue of intelligence officials subjected to criminal cases for their action in covert operations against terror as has been done in the Ishrat case, he said this is the “real danger” in the fight against terror.
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He said for the first time in India’s history, senior Intelligence Bureau officials have been named in a charge sheet in an encounter case and will naturally face trial.
“But the larger issue is should senior Intelligence Bureau officers involved in covert operations against terror be subjected to criminal prosecution. We need to debate this sensitive issue.
“Otherwise there is an apprehension that hence forward, no Intelligence Bureau officer, small of big, or other personnel involved in intelligence covert or overt operation would take any initiative against terror or their patrons, lest they may be implicated in a criminal case. This is a real danger in the fight against terror,” he said.
CBI lodged a second charge sheet in the Ishrat encounter case against ex-IB Special Director Rajinder Kumar and three officers slapping murder and conspiracy charges, but did not name Shah who was questioned by the agency in the case.
Defending Shah, Prasad said even in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh murder case, the Gujarat High Court while giving bail to the former minister had observed that there is no prima facie case made out against against him and this was confirmed by the Supreme Court.