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A special CBI court here on Tuesday rejected the anticipatory bail application of Additional DGP P P Pandey,paving the way for his arrest in the 2004 fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others. He had gone underground for a few months after his name surfaced in the encounter case.
Pandey came to the court followed by a huge number of supporters,many of them saffron-clad sadhus.
Many of these supporters said they had anticipated that Pandeyji may not get the bail and therefore they had come to support him.
Despite Pandeys lawyers seeking immediate intervention of the High Court,they could not make it on time to start arguments before Justice A J Desai,who waited for about half-and-hour to hear the case. Eventually,he refused to hear it and denied Pandey of any sort of protection from arrest. The matter is likely to be heard Wednesday.
Earlier in the day,special CBI judge Gita Gopi,while rejecting Pandeys bail,had also refused to grant protection from impending arrest.
Rejecting Pandeys bail CBI special judge observed,If the applicant is granted anticipatory bail,then there are all chances that the witness may be put under threat and fear. That would ultimately hamper the free and fair trial and even the investigation by the CBI. The conduct of the applicant shows that he doesnt want to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation.
Allegations against Pandey are very serious in nature. The CBI laid down his exact role in the chargesheet. His custody would be necessary for further investigation,and for that,his custodial interrogation would be necessary. The applicant by his conduct has not entailed himself for relief of anticipatory bail… this court doesnt find the applicants case fit for exercising the discretion in his favour, the judge further said.
Pandey,a 1980 batch IPS officer,is among the seven policemen chargesheeted by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. He was posted at Detection of Crime Branch,Ahmedabad,as joint commissioner of police when the encounter had taken place in which Mumbai-based Ishrat Jahan,Javed Sheikh,Zeeshan Johar and Amjadali Rana were killed.
He had ignored several notices issued by the CBI for his appearance during the investigation. Following this,Pandey was proclaimed absconder by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate,CBI court,H S Khutwad. Pandey moved to the Supreme Court as well as the Gujarat High Court for quashing the FIR but got no respite except he was given a relief from arrest till August 6 which expires Tuesday night.