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Retired judge probing Bhopal jail-break says he has not resigned

The official had said the government didn't accept Justice Pandey's resignation; apologised to him and persuaded him to continue.

By: PTI | Bhopal |
February 6, 2017 10:26:30 pm

Retired High Court judge S K Pandey, appointed by the Madhya Pradesh government to conduct an inquiry into the October 30 jail-break by eight SIMI members and the subsequent “police encounter”, on Monday said he had not resigned, contrary to reports. “I was in the office today. I hadn’t resigned from the one-man panel as it was made out to be,” he told PTI. When told that a government official close to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had on Sunday said that he had quit because of the government’s delay in providing him with official car, Justice Pandey said, “Please, then, seek other detils from him only.”

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The official had said the government didn’t accept Justice Pandey’s resignation; apologised to him and persuaded him to continue. According to sources, Justice Pandey tendered resignation on Saturday as the government didn’t respond to his demand of a car for the official duty. The former HC judge is also tasked with judicial probe into the murder of Bhopal Central Jail’s warden Ramashanker Yadav, allegedly by the SIMI activists before their escape.

Parvez Alam, the lawyer of the slain SIMI men, had said the Pandey commission had held two hearings so far and the next hearing was scheduled for March 1. Eight SIMI activists, facing trial, escaped from the Central Jail in Bhopal on the intervening night of October 30-31, 2016. They were gunned down in an alleged encounter by the police on the outskirts of city on October 31 morning.

Opposition Congress and other parties questioned genuineness of the encounter after a video clip and a few audio tapes contradicted police’s version. In November the BJP government in the state appointed the Pandey commission to probe the jail-break as well as the “encounter” at Manikheda village.

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