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Ishrat: Court issues notice to CBI on Pandey’s discharge plea

Ishrat: Court issues notice to CBI on Pandey’s discharge plea

Ahmedabad: A special court here today sought CBI’s reply on a discharge application moved by Gujarat’s DGP in-charge P P Pandey, an accused in the case of alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan.

Special judge M K Pandya issued the notice, on which the CBI counsel submitted that the investigating agency will try to file its reply in the matter by January 20.

The court also heard and reserved its order on an application for modification of bail earlier moved by Pandey, seeking relief from a bail condition that mandated him to present himself before the court every Thursday between 11 am and 5 pm.

In a related development, Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kauser also moved an application in the same court seeking to join as a party to challenge Pandey’s discharge application.

Kauser argued that being the victim’s mother and a writ petitioner in the case, she should be given a chance for hearing and hence be made a party.

The court is also likely to pronounce its order on Pandey’s modification application and decide on Kauser’s plea on January 20.

Pandey, an accused currently out on bail, has cited his reinstatement and promotion as in-charge DGP as one of the grounds for discharge, and also claimed that none of the 105 witnesses examined by the court have named him in the case.

He also said he should be discharged as he does not have any “direct or indirect involvement” in the case.

He argued that he was reinstated in state police and was even promoted by the state government to the post of DGP in-charge after he was let out on bail in connection with the same case.

Pandey has also pointed out that a supplementary charge sheet filed by the CBI, in which IB officials, including retired special IB director Rajinder Kumar, have been named as accused, has not yet been taken on record by the court.

In the first charge sheet filed by the CBI in 2013, seven Gujarat Police officers were named as accused, including IPS officers Pandey, D G Vanzara and G L Singhal, who are facing charges for kidnapping, murder and conspiracy.

The case pertains to a 19-year-old college girl Ishrat, her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh along with two others being gunned down by the city crime branch officials in an alleged encounter on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of the city.

–PTI