Additional DGP P P Pandey,accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case,got relief on Tuesday with the Gujarat High Court restraining the CBI from arresting him till August 6. The HC sent back his anticipatory bail petition to the special CBI sessions court for a decision by then.
The HC also directed Pandey to appear before a magisterial CBI court,which had issued a non-bailable warrant against him, on Wednesday.
Justice A J Desai granted Pandey relief after hearing his challenge to the special CBI sessions courts order,passed on Monday,granting him relief from arrest for just two days.
Pandeys counsel Nirupam Nanavaty argued that the order was flawed. Either anticipatory bail can be granted or rejected. The order of bail for two days is meaningless, Nanavaty said.
Pandeys petition was opposed by the CBI and Gopinath Pillai,father of Javed Shaikh,one of the four persons killed in the encounter.
CBI counsel Ejaz Khan said the SC had not allowed Pandeys quashing petition and had,on July 26,ordered him to appear before the CBI court Monday. He added that since Pandey was a proclaimed absconder,he could not be granted relief and must be told to appear before the CBI magisterial court Wednesday and taken into custody. Pillais lawyer,Mukul Sinha,opposed the petition on the same grounds.
The court,however,said that the SC had kept it open for Pandey to move a bail application after producing himself before the CBI court.