Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kauser on Thursday moved an application before the special CBI court asking to join the proceedings of Ishrat Jahan encounter case as a party since she is “a mother, a witness and the victim”. Kauser moved the petition through her lawyer, Salim M Saiyed, who said she would also oppose the discharge application moved by the accused Gujarat Police Chief (In-charge) P P Pandey. The CBI didn’t oppose her move saying “she may assist the prosecution”.
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Special Judge M K Pandya asked her lawyer to file an appropriate application after he submitted a “vakalatnama” signed by Kauser. Saiyed later on filed the application on Kauser’s behalf. During the hearing when the court asked special public prosecutor R C Kodekar about her move, Kodekar responded, “She can assist the prosecution.”
The court is likely to pass an order on her application by next week. Senior counsel I H Syed, who argues on behalf of Kauser, also said that “the discharge application will be opposed by Shamima Kauser. There is a statutory provision for victim that entitles a victim to see the accused are prosecuted and trial is taken to its logical end.”
On the other hand, the special court also issued notice to CBI on the discharge application moved by Pandey and asked Kodekar to file reply by January 20. Kodekar told the court that “an appropriate reply will be filed which may take time since approval on such replies comes from higher officials of the agency”.
Pandey, an IPS officer of 1980 batch, will attain superannuation on January 31. He has sought discharge 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. Pandey was arrested in July 2013 in the Ishrat encounter case and remained in jail for nearly 19 months till he was released in February, 2015 on bail. He was reinstated and promoted as DGP in August 2015.
In April 2016, after sudden transfer of his predecessor P C Thakur, Pandey was given additional charge as police chief. Pandey’s elevation as in-charge police chief was challenged by state’s ex-DGP Julio Ribeiro which was rejected by the high court saying that it was a temporary arrangement. Ribeiro has moved Supreme Court where the matter is pending.
Besides, CBI also filed a reply on another application moved by Pandey seeking modification of bail condition that mandates him to mark his presence in the court every Thursday. The CBI has urged the court that “to pass an appropriate order since the condition was imposed by the court itself.”
The court on Thursday also expressed its opinion that in the Ishrat Jahan case the charges should be framed against the accused so that trial should begin. However, accused police officer N K Amin strongly opposed the move and said that charges can’t be framed at this juncture and he is also going to file a discharge application soon.
“The chargesheet is not complete for beginning of the trial. The second chargesheet filed by the CBI against certain accused is not on record. There are accused who were arrested by the CBI and granted default bail. Some of them have been shown as witness….CBI has misguided the court by not declaring status of these accused who are main accused like I K Chauhan. I plead that these issues be rectified else justice would be misguided and it will be miscarriage of justice,” Amin said.
The special judge Pandya then asked him to file his application. The court also asked the another accused D G Vanzara’s lawyer to remain present in the next hearing for framing of charges. Amin is among the seven Gujarat police officers who have been chargesheeted by the CBI. Apart from Amin and Pandey, IPS officer D G Vanzara (retired), IPS G L Singhal, among others were chargesheeted by CBI for conspiracy, kidnapping and murder of 19-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan, her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai and two alleged Pakistani nationals in 2004.