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A special CBI court refused anticipatory bail to Additional DGP P P Pandey,accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. Pandey came to the court on Tuesday followed by supporters,many of them saffron-clad sadhus.
Despite Pandeys lawyers seeking immediate High Court intervention,they could not make it on time to start arguments before Justice A J Desai who waited for about half-an-hour to hear the case. Eventually,he refused to hear the case and denied Pandey protection from arrest. The matter is likely to be heard on Wednesday. Earlier in the day,special CBI judge Gita Gopi,rejecting Pandeys bail,refused to grant protection from impending arrest.
There was drama after his bail plea was rejected. Many supporters said they had anticipated Pandeyji may not get the bail and had therefore come to support him.
I have known Pandeyji for the past three decades. He is a person who cant even slice a fruit so how can he kill four persons. This is unbelievable, said Purshottam Sharma,secretary of World Brahmin Federation. Pandeys lawyers moved Gujarat High Court challenging the order.
Rejecting the bail,the CBI special judge observed,If the applicant is granted anticipatory bail,then there are chances that the witness may be put under threat. That would hamper free and fair trial and even free,fair and full investigation by the CBI. The conduct of the applicant shows he doesnt want to voluntarily cooperate in the investigation.
She said in the order,Allegations against Pandey are very serious. The CBI laid down his exact role in the chargesheet. For further investigation,his custodial interrogation would be necessary. The applicant,by his conduct,has not entailed himself for anticipatory bail… this court doesnt find the applicants case fit for exercising discretion in his favour.
Pandey,a 1980 batch IPS officer,ducked several notices issued by the CBI for appearance. Following this,Pandey was proclaimed an absconder by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate,CBI court,H S Khutwad.
Pandey moved the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court for quashing the FIR but got no respite except relief from arrest till August 6 night.