A Special CBI court held that Ishrat Jahan was indeed a terrorist and that her encounter was genuine while discharging IPS officer GL Singhal retired police officer Tarun Barot and Anaju Chaudhari on March 31. The three officers had filed a discharge petition on 20 March in a case where they were alleged to have carried out extrajudicial killings of four terrorists including Ishrat Jahan in June 2004.
Special CBI Judge VR Raval opined that prima facie there was nothing on record suggesting that Jahan and three others were not terrorists. The court order said:
The order is passed with the application of mind and the Government has also come to the conclusion that the offenses committed by the present applicants are such which have been committed while discharging their official duties as police officers and also the investigation against the accused is not proper and there is no evidence against the accused.
Four other officers were discharged earlier and those discharged orders were mentioned as the basis for seeking discharge by the three officers. Since the CBI had not challenged the discharge of the four officers earlier there are reasons to believe that the present recharges would also not be challenged by the CBI.
Sequencing the Ishrat Jahan encounter case OpIndia says:
On 15 June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana, and Zeeshan Johar were killed near Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. They were believed to be Pakistani nationals. Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch led by Vanzara was involved in the encounter. DCB had claimed that the four were operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba and were on a mission to kill then-Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
In 2013, the Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a charge sheet in the case and named seven police officers P P Pandey, Vanzara, N K Amin, J G Parmar, Singhal, Barot, and Chaudhary as the accused. They were charged with abduction, murder, and destruction of evidence.
Pandey was discharged from the case in 2018 while Vanzara and Amin were discharged in May 2019. Parmar’s death led to him being abated from the case in September 2020. Although the discharge orders weren’t challenged or opposed by the CBI, Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser had opposed the order.
It must be noted that section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code requires government sanction for prosecuting a public servant for an act done as a part of official duty. A sealed report submitted by CBI special public prosecutor on 20 March said that the state government had denied permission to prosecute the last three accused in the case. Singhal, Chaudhari, and Barot were discharged by the CBI after taking the previous discharges in the case into consideration.
(Featured Image Source: TOI)
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