Ishrat case: court rejects Vanzara, Amin's plea

Ishrat case: court rejects Vanzara, Amin's plea

Former Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara will continue to remain accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case and will face trial. (PTI File Photo)

A special CBI court on Tuesday turned down the discharge pleas moved by retired IPS officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.

Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old Mumbai college girl, was killed along with her friend Javed Shaikh and two "Pakistani nationals", Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004, in a joint operation by a team of the Gujarat Police and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

“The order may be of rejection but we have not read it as we are yet to receive a certified copy. Once we read it, we would know the view of the court. The other thing is that Mr Pandey (former acting DGP) was discharged under Section 197 and principles of law suggest that if that has happened for one accused, others should also be dealt with parity,” Amin told reporters after the CBI court pronounced the judgement. With this ruling, Vanzara and Amin will continue to remain accused in the case and will face trial.

The arguments in the discharge applications had concluded on July 18 and the court of special CBI judge J K Pandya, who had reserved the order, delivered it on Tuesday. The court rejected the pleas while holding that the role of the two accused was greater than the retired in-charge DGP.

In their arguments before the court earlier, the counsel for the former IPS officers had maintained that they were framed in the case by the CBI, though they were not present at the scene of the crime. They cited the acceptance of discharge plea of former acting DGP P P Pandey by the same court in the case to buttress their claim.

Ishrat's mother, Shamima Kauser, had opposed the discharge applications stating that her daughter was abducted, kept in illegal confinement and murdered in cold blood by the police and was “falsely projected as an encounter killing”.

Shamima's advocate had also argued that the “accused cannot be discharged even before the supplementary charge sheet is placed before this court”.

A supplementary charge sheet in the case was pending with the special CBI court (magisterial) that names IB officials, including former special director Rajinder Kumar.

Shamima further pointed out that there are eye-witnesses whose statements have been recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code that established the roles of the senior police officers in the case.

Amin said they may consider approaching a higher court, even as the CBI judge fixed the hearing for September 7.

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