CBI seeks time to decide on prosecuting Vanzara, others

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday sought three weeks' time to inform a special CBI court here whether it would challenge the orders dropping the proceedings against former Gujarat police officers D G Vanzara and Narendra Amin from the trial of Ishrat Jahan encounter case or not.

Special judge R K Chudawala on Wednesday asked R C Kodekar, special public prosecutor of CBI, whether the CBI was planning to challenge the orders. Kodekar responded that he is awaiting decisions from the higher authorities and could not say anything right away. He sought three weeks' time, saying that the decision is of the higher authorities.

The judge asked Kodekar to move an application. "There should be something in writing," the judge said while granting three weeks' time.

The CBI has not decided whether it wants to challenge the orders of the court that dropped the criminal proceedings against ex-IPS officer D G Vanzara and ex-Superintendent of Police Narendra Amin from the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

They were dropped for want of government sanction under section 197 of code of criminal procedure (CrPC) that mandates permission from the government before prosecuting a government servant. In the case of Vanzara and Amin, CBI sought the permission from the Gujarat government which was denied.

CBI moved Gujarat government despite taking a stand since the beginning that there was no need for sanction since the accused were chargesheeted for murder, conspiracy, illegal confinement, kidnapping among others.

However, back in 2014, CBI had sought permission under section 197 of CrPC from the ministry of home affairs (MHA) for prosecuting four accused officers from Intelligence Bureau who are also accused in the case. The MHA, too, did not give sanction.

The CBI has also not challenged the order of ex-Director General of Police P P Pandey who was discharged from the case as an accused in February 2018. With Pandey, Vanzara and Amin dropped from the trial, the remaining accused IPS officer G L Singhal, ex-Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot, J G Parmar and assistant sub-inspector Anaju Chaudhary are also likely to move court seeking similar relief.

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