January 12, 2017 5:36:36 pm
A special CBI court on Thursday issued notice to CBI on the discharge application moved by Director General of Police P P Pandey, the senior most accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, who is currently out on bail. Pandey is also the in-charge police chief of Gujarat.
On the other hand, Shamima Kauser, mother of Ishrat Jahan, has also moved an application in the court seeking permission to join the proceeding as a party in order to challenge the discharge application. Her lawyer, I H Syed confirmed the move and said, “there is a statutory provision for victims to join the proceedings as party. We are going to oppose the discharge application for sure.”
The special judge MK Pandya issued the notice to CBI and sought agency’s reply by January 20. Pandey has sought relief on the ground that no case is made out against him and the CBI has not charged him with any specific role in the case.
This is the first instance in Ishrat Jahan case, in which an accused has sought discharge from the trial court. The 1980 batch IPS, Pandey was arrested in July 2013 in the Ishrat encounter case who remained behind the bars for nearly 19 months. He was released on bail in February 2015 and was reinstated in the state police. Months after his promotion as DGP he was given the additional charge of police chief in April last year after sudden transfer of his predecessor P C Thakur.
Pandey, along with IPS officer G L Singhal, DSP N K Amin, retired IPS D G Vanzara and three other policemen, was chargesheeted by CBI for conspiracy, murder and kidnapping of 19-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan, her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai and two alleged Pakistani nationals in 2004. The CBI claimed in the chargesheet that they were killed in a staged encounter.
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