New Delhi, May 2: A special CBI court on Thursday discharged former police officers DG Vanzara and NK Amin in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan ‘fake encounter’ case.
Vanzara, a former deputy inspector general (DIG) of police and Amin who retired as superintendent of police (SP), had filed discharge applications in the court after the Gujarat government refused to grant sanctions to the CBI to prosecute the two former police officers.
Special CBI court judge JK Pandya said that since the government has not sanctioned their prosecution, their discharge pleas are allowed and proceedings against them will be dropped in the case.
Under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the government’s sanction is necessary for the prosecution of a public servant for an act done as part of the official duty.
The state government had declined sanction to prosecute saying they found no evidence against them after going through the record of the case produced by the CBI.
The court had earlier rejected discharge applications of the two former officers and had asked the CBI to clear its stand on whether it wants to get sanction to prosecute them from the state government.
Vanzara and Amin are two of the seven accused named in the first charge sheet filed by the CBI in 2013, others being IPS officers PP Pandey, and GL Singhal.
Earlier in February last year, former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) PP Pandey was discharged by the special CBI court.
Pandey was arrested in 2013 by the CBI and he spent nearly 19 months in jail. He was released on bail in February 2015, following which he was reinstated in the state police.
Pandey was named in the CBI’s original charge sheet along with six other Gujarat Police officials in July 2013 and in a supplementary charge sheet in February 2014, four Intelligence Bureau officials were named for unlawful killings, abduction, criminal conspiracy etc.
The CBI had claimed in the charge sheet that Ishrat Jahan and others were killed in a staged encounter and that the police claim of having fired on her in ‘self-defence’ was a lie.
19-year-old Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, were killed in an alleged encounter with the police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June 2004.
The Gujarat police had claimed that Ishrat and the others had links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and had plotted to kill then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. (Agencies/PTI)