The Gujarat government refused sanction to prosecute retired police officers who are accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the Central Bureau of Investigation said on Tuesday.
Former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Vanzara and ex-superintendent of police Amin are among the seven police officers of Gujarat who were chargesheeted by the CBI in 2013 for killing 19-year-old Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan, her friend Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh and two alleged Pakistani nationals — Zeeshan Johar and Amjiali Rana in 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
The police had claimed that the four were “terrorists” and were out to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi, among others.
In January, the CBI informed a special court, which is hearing the case, that they had sought the government’s nod only after it was ordered to.
“Our stand has been very clear since the beginning (of the trial) that there is no need to seek permission (from the Gujarat government) for the prosecution (of former police officers). We moved (a plea) before the state (government) only after this court ordered us to do so,” special public prosecutor R C Kodekar, appearing for the CBI, told special judge J K Pandya.
When the judge enquired how long would it take for the government to respond, Kodekar said that the agency wouldn’t know as it would be decided by “higher-level officers”.