A special CBI court hearing the Ishrat Jahan encounter case on Saturday adjourned the hearing on discharge pleas of former IPS D G Vanzara and former Superintendent of Police N K Amin and granted separate dates for arguments. On May 12, Amin will be arguing his case while on May 24, the court will hear the arguments of Vanzara’s lawyer V D Gajjar.
Meanwhile, Ishrat Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser is likely to file her response, opposing the discharge applications in the court next week, her lawyer told this paper outside the court. He said that Kauser is also going to challenge the order discharging former Director General of Police P P Pandey from the trial. The CBI has not challenged the order in the High Court yet. Vanzara and Amin have sought discharge on several common grounds such as not having prior government sanction under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for prosecuting them, parity with the discharge order of P P Pandey, many of the witnesses who were present at the scene of offence having been turned into prosecution witness, among others.
Vanzara was not present on the scene of offence but the CBI has alleged that Amin is one of the accused policemen who shot 19-year-old Ishrat, her friend Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh and two alleged Pakistani nationals.
Vanzara has claimed in the application that the chargesheet in this case is “politically motivated” and “the entire plot appears to have been deployed by the then central government (UPA)… with a view to topple the democratically elected government…” The CBI, however, has responded in the court, stating that these allegations were baseless. Amin has also claimed that he was not among the policemen who opened fire, as the CBI has alleged. The reply, filed last week, states that the fact that Amin took part in opening fire has been stated in the FIR lodged by co-accused J G Parmar in 2004.
It was the original FIR lodged by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch soon after the encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan and others.