Cops conspired, killed Sadiq Jamal in cold blood: CBI

Cops conspired, kept in illegal custody & killed Sadiq Jamal in cold blood, can't claim relief: CBI

The Gujarat police had branded Sadiq as a "terrorist" who was out to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi, among other saffron leaders, to avenge the 2002 riots

CBI headquarters in New Delhi. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a detailed affidavit opposing the discharge pleas of two policemen accused in the Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case.

The central agency has said that the accused cops can't claim relief as they allegedly "conspired, kept in illegal confinement and eventually killed the Bhavnagar youth in cold blood."

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The Gujarat police had branded Sadiq as a "terrorist" as he was accused of planning to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi, among other saffron leaders, to avenge 2002 riots. CBI probe found that he was killed by a team of eight policemen including J G Parmar, I A Saiyed, K M Vaghela, R L Mavani, G H Gohil, Ajaypal Yadav and Chhatarsinh Chudasama in a fake encounter near Jai Ambe Traders, Saibaba Complex, Galaxy Cinema, Naroda, Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003.

The affidavit said that 19-year-old Sadiq was apprehended in a "stage-managed joint operation of SIB (Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau), Mumbai and CIU (Crime Intelligence Unit of Mumbai police), Andheri, Mumbai on November 19, 2002, from a place near Arsa Hotel, Andheri (E), Mumbai."

The document said that the youth was subjected to interrogation at CIU, Andheri by the officials of SIB, Mumbai.

The affidavits were filed in response to discharge pleas filed by accused policemen Mavani and Yadav.

It says that retired Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot, the then police inspector, Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad along with other staff took Sadiq into custody from Mumbai police and returned on January 4, 2003. Thereafter, he was kept in "illegal confinement by officials of DCB, Ahmedabad till he was killed."

The two accused cops have sought discharge on various grounds including the absence of any government sanction for prosecution under Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which mandates prior approval for prosecuting government servants.

The CBI reply states, "Had Sadiq been killed in a crossfire in self-defense, accused persons would have been entitled for sanction for prosecution u/s 197 of CrPC. However, in this case, as per the report of investigation, it was not killing in self-defense but in a cold blood."

"Facts constitute offences punishable u/s 120-B r/w (read with) 302 of IPC. Hence, the accused persons are not entitled to protection." The agency added that because the criminal conspiracy to kill anyone in such manner is neither official duty nor purported official duty.

"In other words, there exists no nexus between acts and duty so as to attract Section 197 of CrPC," it said.

Interestingly, the CBI, despite taking such stand on record chose to seek prosecution sanction from the Gujarat government in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case after the special trial court asked the agency whether it would want to seek such permission or not.

The CBI chose to seek and filed an application which was rejected by the Gujarat government allowing the court to discharge key accused ex IPS officer D G Vanzara and retired Superintendent of Police N K Amin. The CBI is facing a similar situation after the court rejected discharge pleas of four remaining accused policemen in Ishrat case including IPS officer G L Singhal while asking the agency to seek sanction from the government.