Gujarat government averts contempt in Ishrat Jehan case

Gopinath Pillai, father of deceased Pranesh Pillai alias, Javed, who was one of the four people killed along with Ishrat in an alleged staged shootout in 2004, Friday filed a contempt petition against the state government for not complying with the high court's order to form a special investigation team (SIT) .

A high court division bench in September had directed to form a SIT headed by Karnail Singh, joint police commissioner, Delhi, and two Gujarat cadre IPS officers, Mohan Jha and Satish Verma. The court had directed the state to issue a notification in this regard within two weeks with orders that the SIT submit the report in three months. The government had challenged the high court's order in the apex court, which was rejected Nov 12.

Pillai through his advocate Mukul Sinha Friday submitted in its contempt of court plea that even two months after the court's order, the state government had not issued notification that would enable formation of the new SIT.

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Kapadia and B.N. Mehta, while hearing the case Friday, was about to admit the matter and initiate contempt proceedings. However, at the request of the government counsel it allowed the state two days time to take necessary actions.
The state's counsel submitted that the government is likely to issue notification as soon as possible preferably in two days and sought time.

Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jehan, Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in a stged shootout on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004, by a team of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch. The four were termed by the crime branch as part of a Lashkar-e Taiba outfit out to eliminate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

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