Gujarat Govt opposes CBI probe in Ishrat encounter case

Gujarat govt opposes CBI probe in Ishrat encounter case

Appearing on behalf of the state, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi contended magistrate S P Tamang's report, which had claimed the encounter as fake, was unwarranted and beyond his jurisdiction.

Trivedi put forth the contentions before the division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari which was hearing a bunch of petitions demanding CBI probe into the case.

He submitted there was already a special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the High Court to probe the encounter in which Ishrat was gunned down by Gujarat police along with Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

Trivedi said the encounter followed specific input from the central intelligence that the four people were LeT operatives on a mission to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi and carry out attacks on various parts of India including Gujarat.

It is important what the court thinks about the case irrespective of what the Centre government does which had earlier opposed CBI probe, but now has changed its stance, he submitted.

Trivedi also opposed Tamang's report which had stated encounter of Ishrat and three others was fake and executed "mercilessly" by shooting the victims from "close range" with motive to get promotion and to impress upon the chief minister (Narendra Modi) and get his accolades.

Such a detailed inquiry into the six-year-old encounter case by the magistrate was unwarranted for, he said, adding that the inferences drawn by Tamang were without authority.

Trivedi further contended that by challenging the Tamang report does not mean the state has lost its credibility.

"We are against the principal, method and manner in which the magistrate had prepared the report," he said.

During the hearing, Justice Jayant Patel questioned the locus standi of G L Singhal, one of the police officers named in Tamang's report, who had sought quashing of the magistrate's report.

While questioning locus standi of Singhal, Justice Patel indicated if the court decides to uphold the Tamang report than it would be followed by an FIR, and even if the report is disapproved, there could be further inquiry into the matter.

Singhal's lawyer Nirupam Nanavati in reply submitted that since the magistrate had made observations against his client, he was an aggrieved party and had a right to challenge Tamang's report.

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