Additional DGP P P Pandey,accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case,got a 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 on merits by then.
The HC also directed Pandey to appear before a magisterial CBI court on Wednesday. The CBI court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Pandey while declaring him a proclaimed absconder..
A single judge bench of Justice A J Desai passed an order in this regard on Tuesday during a hearing on a petition by Pandey that challenged the special CBI sessions courts order of granting him relief from arrest for two days.
On Monday,Pandey had appeared before the special CBI sessions court and moved an anticipatory bail petition. Special CBI judge Gita Gopi had passed an order while granting him bail for two days,till July 31. The sessions court had directed Pandey to appear before the CBI magisterial court on July 31,as the latter had issued a NBW against him.Challenging this order,Pandey moved the HC while seeking urgent hearing on the same. Arguing on behalf of Pandey,senior counsel Nirupam Nanavaty indicated that the trial court had passed a flawed order to grant him bail for two days. Either the anticipatory bail can be granted or rejected. The order (of bail for two days) is meaningless, Nanavaty argued. He stated that Pandey had a case of getting anticipatory bail and demanded that the order of the sessions court be substituted and he be granted regular anticipatory bail.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 argued that the Supreme Court had not allowed Pandeys quashing petition and on July 26,the apex court had ordered him to appear before the CBI court in Ahmedabad on Monday. Khan added that since Pandey was a proclaimed absconder,he could not be granted any relief,and should be asked to appear before the CBI magisterial court on Wednesday and taken in custody.
The court,however,told Khan that the SC in its July 26 order had kept it open for Pandey to move an application before a court after producing himself before the CBI court on Monday.
Pillais lawyer,Mukul Sinha,also opposed the petition,stating that Pandey did not have a right to have anticipatory bail as he was an absconder.