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Special CBI court allows Ishrat Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser to join trial as party

Javed Sheikh’s father also likely to move petition to join encounter trial

Written by Satish Jha | Ahmedabad |
Updated: January 22, 2017 2:30:16 am
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A special CBI court on Saturday allowed Ishrat Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser to join trial in the encounter case as a party. She had moved a plea before the court seeking to join the case, and prosecuting agency CBI did not raise any objection.

Special judge M K Pandya allowed the vakalatnama moved by Kauser’s advocate earlier in the day. Her lawyer also moved an application seeking a copy of the discharge application moved by Gujarat in-charge police chief P P Pandey, who is an accused in the encounter case.

Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, is also likely to be move the court, seeking to join the trial as a party. Ishrat, Javed and two alleged Pakistani nationals were killed in an encounter in 2004, which the CBI claimed in 2013 was staged.

The court also allowed an application of bail modification moved by Pandey. The court granted him relief from appearing before it on every Thursday and ordered him to remain present during the regular hearings. Other co-accused are also likely to move applications, seeking exemptions from marking their presence.

On the other hand, the special judge said that he wanted to take the case to the next level — framing of charges, a procedure before beginning of trial. The court once again asked accused N K Amin, currently posted in Tapi as superintendent of police, to file discharge application, upon which he replied, “My lawyer is in Delhi… I have rights under the Constitution to file an application whenever I want and at any stage.”

When the court asked lawyer V D Gajjar, who represents retired IPS officer D G Vanzara, an accused in the case, that whether his client wanted to file a plea for discharge, Gajjar replied there were various issues required to be sorted out. “The cognizance of the second chargesheet in the case is yet to be taken and the status of some accused who were arrested and later cited as witness in the chargesheet also requires to be made clear.”

“My next move will be based on the result of this (Pandey’s discharge) application. We may seek parity since there are identical evidence against me as well,” Gajjar said on behalf of Vanzara, who was also present in the court.

The CBI was supposed to file its reply on the discharge application of Pandey, but it sought more time. Pandey’s lawyer argued to keep the matter for hearing on January 23, and said that the court can adjourn again in the CBI doesn’t file the reply.

When the court asked what is the haste, a lawyer on behalf of Pandey replied, “I have suffered a lot because of this case. There is no prima facie evidence against me. My family is still disturbed.” However, CBI lawyer R C Kodekar said that it wouldn’t be possible to file the reply so early. Following this, the court scheduled the matter for hearing on February 4. Pandey is retiring on January 31, but the government may give him an extension.

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