Opposing the bail application moved by jailed Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) P P Pandey in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the CBI on Wednesday filed its three-page reply stating that if Pandey is granted bail he may abscond again. The reply states that Pandey had failed to appear before the investigating officer as well as special CBI court last year during the investigation of the case. It was due to this reason that the CBI court issued proclamation against Pandey.
On the ground raised by Pandey — that the witnesses against him in the case are not “credible” — the CBI has stated that the credibility of witnesses can’t be argued at this stage since the application is limited to granting bail. The three-page reply is against Pandey’s over 60-page bail application. The reply has been signed by a CBI police inspector.
Interestingly, in the case of the bail application of another accused police officer, D G Vanzara (retired IPS), which is likely to be clubbed with Pandey’s bail for the pronouncement of order, the reply was filed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) level officer. A CBI official said that “there is nothing extraordinary” about an officer who is signing the reply.
Pandey and Vanzara were chargesheeted by the CBI, along with five other policemen – IPS officer G L Singhal, retired DSP Tarun Barot and DSP N K Amin, among others. Except Pandey, Vanzara and Amin, all the others are out on default bail after CBI didn’t file the chargesheet on time. Amin has moved Supreme Court seeking default bail on the ground of parity. The order of his petition is awaited. The 1982 batch Gujarat cadre IPS, Pandey’s name is mentioned as a key conspirator in the chargesheet.
He, along with other accused policemen, met Ishrat and her friend, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, who were in the illegal detention before they were killed in 2004. In the alleged encounter, two Pakistani nationals — Amjadali Rana and Zeeshan Johar — were also killed.