Ishrat case: Guj HC notice to Home Dept official
Gujarat HC issued notice to Balwant Singh for non-compliance of its order on transfer of 3 senior police officials.
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued a contempt notice to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Balwant Singh for non-compliance of its order on transfer of three senior police officials involved in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
A Division Bench of justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari asked the state government why the officers were not transferred on time despite directions from the court during the two previous hearings.
The high court issued a notice saying, "Why contempt of court proceedings against ACS Balwant Singh, who is heading Home Department, should not be initiated." The court asked the top officer to file a reply by May 11.
The court had twice told the government to transfer IPS officers PP Pandey, G L Singhal and Tarun Barot, who were involved in the encounter of Mumbai girl Ishrat and three others in 2004. They were finally transferred yesterday just a day before the court hearing in the case.
The court also allowed IPS officer Karnail Singh, who is heading the SIT in the Ishrat case, to relinquish his responsibilities as the chief of the high court-appointed agency. Singh had expressed his desire to step down as SIT chief as he has been posted to Mizoram.
The court also observed that there is material on record which shows that there has been interference in the probe and witnesses have been manipulated.
The three senior police officials are connected with the shootout of Ishrat and three other - Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
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