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Law

Ishrat Jahan Encounter: CBI Court Junks Discharge Plea of Four Accused Cops

The court also directed the CBI to get sanction from the state government to prosecute the officers. 

New Delhi: A special CBI court in Ahmedabad disposed of the discharge pleas filed by four accused officers in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case and directed the CBI to get sanction from the state government to prosecute the officers.

According to a report in the Indian Express, of the four accused officers – J.G. Parmar, Tarun Barot, G.L. Singhal and Anaju Chaudhary – Parmar passed away last month.

Parmar was among seven policemen who had been named by the CBI in the case in 2013 for the extrajudicial killing of 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan along with Javed Shaikh, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on June 15, 2004.

While making submissions before the CBI court, the accused held that the CBI was expected to obtain state sanction to prosecute them before framing charges. It was also submitted that “sanction for prosecution shall be declined with respect to (the remaining) case also,” on the basis of observations made by the special CBI court in its earlier orders.

The CBI charge sheet said that Parmar, a part of the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) squad, had fired four rounds from his service revolver.

Also read: Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case: A Timeline of Events

The DCB had claimed that Ishrat and the three others were Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who had come to Ahmedabad to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi.

Of the seven named by the CBI, P.P. Pandey, D.G. Vanzara and N.K. Amin were discharged from the trial after the state government declined to provide sanction to prosecute them. The state government had refused permission on grounds of “larger public interest” and had held that Ishrat Jahan was an “operative of Pakistan-based terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.”

Special CBI judge J.K. Pandya had, in August 2018, said that the CBI should clarify whether it would obtain sanction for prosecution before framing charges in the case while discharging the applications of D.G. Vanzara and N.K. Amin.

“Framing of charge against the accused without sanction would be bad in law and therefore, the CBI is directed to either obtain sanction for prosecution from the concerned authority or declare in writing the legal position as per the law, with regard to sanction for prosecution against the accused…”

The lawyers for the current accused have argued that since the order referred to “accused” and not “applicant-accused”, the CBI should have sought sanction to prosecute all six – excluding Pandey – instead of seeking sanction only for Vanzara and Amin.