After former Gujarat IPS officer D G Vanzara, retired Superintendent of Police N K Amin has moved discharge application in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. Amin is among the key accused in the case who allegedly shot at 19-year-old Mumbai college girl Ishrat, her friend Javed Sheikh and two Pakistani nationals. On Friday, the CBI sought time to file reply to the discharge application of Amin, who is a now a practicing lawyer. Amin told this paper that the discharge had been filed on multiple grounds and claimed that he was not among those who took part in shooting.
“The past court orders would prove that I am not the one who fired upon Ishrat or anyone else. There is no forensic evidence to ascertain this allegation. The CBI never brought me to the scene of offence for the rehearsal (reconstruction of crime). There are court observation that would prove that I didn’t fire. My innocence is beyond doubt,” Amin told The Indian Express on Friday.
The CBI chargesheet alleges, “After the arrival of all four detainees (Ishrat, Sheikh and two Pakistani nationals)… N K Amin, Tarun A Barot, J G Parmar, Mohanbhai Lalabhai Kalaswa, Anaju Jhiman Chaudhary opened fire on the detainees in the car and on the road divider from their official weapons, resulting into the death of all four detainees.” The chargesheet alleged Amin fired five rounds from his 9 mm pistol.
According to Amin, more than 10 witnesses who have testified against him are “accused in the case” as observed in the past judgments of the court. The names of these witnesses were listed as accused in the FIR. The CBI, however, turned them into witnesses. The inquiry report by Gujarat High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team also relied on these witnesses.
Amin has filed the application himself as party-in-person. Among the ground of his discharge is the role of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers — former special director Rajinder Kumar, Rajeev Wankhede, T. Mittal and Mukul Sinha. According to Amin, the CBI chargesheet doesn’t distinguish the role between IB officers and Gujarat police officers. He argued that IB officers were involved in kidnapping the four persons, but they were never arrested.
Under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the CBI had sought the permission to prosecute these IB officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which was denied. According to Amin’s argument, the Gujarat police are also covered under this law and the CBI never sought the permission for prosecution. “I have also sought discharge on the ground of parity with P P Pandey. In the order, the court had mentioned that Pandey was only discharging his duty,” Amin said. Pandey was recently discharged by the CBI court in the case.
Earlier this month, former IPS officer D G Vanzara also filed discharged plea, claiming that the chargesheet against him is “politically motivated”. In the application, Vanzara had also claimed that then Gujarat Chief Minister and present Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also called by the investigating officer and was interrogated.”
P P Pandey wants his passport back
Meanwhile, former Director General of Police P P Pandey, who was recently discharged in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, has sought his passport back. The CBI on Friday sought time to respond and the case was adjourned till April 6. Pandey was the most senior officer arrested in the case and spent more than a year in jail. He had to surrender his passport as a condition of getting the bail in 2014.