Ishrat case: SC to hear on Friday plea for SIT reconstitution

A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar posted the matter for May 13 after it was informed by the counsel appearing for various parties that the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to hear issue relating to it tomorrow.

On May 3, the apex court had stayed the SIT probe into the case and agreed to hear a plea for reconstitution of the team after being informed that the three-member team is left with only one investigation officer.

The police officers of Gujarat, who were allegedly part of a team which killed Ishrat, had pleaded with the court that the three-member special investigation team has virtually become a one-member team.

The petitioners, including Girish Laxman Singhal, now Deputy Commissioner of Police in Vadodara, had alleged the Gujarat High Court-appointed SIT consisted of senior Indian Police Service officers Karnail Singh, Mohan Jha and Satish Verma but now it has only one investigating member, Inspector General of Police Verma.

The Gujarat High Court had on April 22 relieved Singh from the SIT and said only Verma would investigate the case while Jha would look after the administrative work of SIT.
Challenging the order of the High Court, Singhal had contended that the probe was to be done by a team but after the High Court's order the probe would be conducted by only one person, which is wrong.

Singhal was allegedly part of the police team that gunned down Ishrat and three others - Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

Ahmedabad police had accused the four deceased of being terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba members and plotting to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

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