HC slams Gujarat govt for shielding cop in Ishrat case

The Gujarat High Court on Friday came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government for “shielding, siding with and protecting” a police officer accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari said that based on a report by the CBI, it was clear that the state government was shielding the accused policeman.

The court said that even the special investigation team (SIT), which was probing the case earlier, had complained of government interference.The investigative agency had highlighted the “disappearance” of senior IPS officer and ADGP rank officer P P Pande even after an arrest warrant was issued against him by the CBI court.

The CBI had complained that despite repeated summons, the officer had evaded the CBI. It said the government did not show any interest in bringing the officer under lens.

The court also took strong objection to the state government’s stand on extending the services of senior Gujarat IPS officer Satish Verma for continued investigations in the case.

While the court has asked the CBI to seek Verma’s help, the state government has insisted that the officer was required by the state services.The High court further ordered that the state government allow Verma to work with the CBI team for assisting the agency in its investigations. It directed the CBI to submit a status report in the case by June 13.

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