Ahmedabad: The CBI on Monday sought time from a special court, which heard the discharge applications of former police officers D.G. Vanzara and N.K. Amin in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, to file a report on the status of sanction to prosecute the two accused.
The court of special CBI judge J.K. Pandya adjourned the matter till October 22 for the central investigating agency to file its reply in the matter.
On August 7, the special court had rejected discharge applications of both the accused.
At the same time, the court had ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to seek clarity on the status of sanction to prosecute the two accused under CrPC section 197 (dealing with prosecution of public servants) from competent authorities, which in this case is the Gujarat government.
The court had said it wants the prosecution sanction status of the two to be brought on record, after which charges will be framed against them.
Vanzara, a former deputy inspector general of police in Gujarat, had sought discharge on the ground of parity with the state’s former in-charge director general of police P.P. Pandey.
Pandey was discharged in the case in February for want of evidence against him.
Amin, who retired as a superintendent of police, sought discharge on the ground that the encounter was genuine and that testimonies of witnesses produced by the CBI were not reliable.
Discharge is a pre-trial process based on evidence on record.
The CBI has not initiated the procedure for seeking sanction to prosecute seven officers, including Vanzara and Amin, named as accused in the charge-sheet.
The probing agency had earlier sought the Union government’s sanction to prosecute four Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials whose names figured in the supplementary charge-sheet. Its plea was rejected by the Centre.
Jahan, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbai, along with three others – Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar – were killed by police in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
The Gujarat Police had claimed they had terror links and plotted to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted by the Gujarat high court, had concluded the encounter was “fake”.
Following this, the HC had transferred the case to the CBI.
In the first charge-sheet filed by the CBI in 2013, seven Gujarat Police officers, including Pandey, Vanzara and G.L. Singhal, were named accused.
All were booked for kidnapping, murder and conspiracy among other charges. Pandey was later discharged by the special court.