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Former Gujarat DGP PP Pandey Discharged by Court in Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter Case

Special CBI court allowed Pandey's discharge application on the ground that there was no evidence against him related to the kidnapping and murder of Ishrat Jahan and three others.

Meghdoot Sharon | News18.com

Updated:February 21, 2018, 5:40 PM IST
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Former Gujarat DGP PP Pandey Discharged by Court in Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter Case
File photo of former Gujarat in-charge DGP PP Pandey. (PTI photo)
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Ahmedabad: A special CBI court on Wednesday ruled that former Gujarat in-charge, DGP PP Pandey, will no longer be an accused in the 2004 alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others. Pandey is the first accused in the case to be discharged by the court.

Special CBI court judge JK Pandya allowed Pandey's discharge application on the ground that there was no evidence against him related to the kidnapping and murder of the four. The CBI, which investigated the case, had accused Pandey, who then headed the Ahmedabad crime branch, as being involved in the alleged fake encounter.

The court said that no witnesses accused Pandey of the murder and kidnapping of the victims. It also said that the witnesses' evidence were contradictory as they gave different evidence to different investigating agencies.

The court also held that being a government servant, permission to prosecute Pandey was not taken by the investigating officer from the state before filing of the charge sheet against him, as per section 197 of the CrPC.

Shamshad Pathan, advocate for Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai, one of those killed in the encounter, told News18 that he is contemplating challenging the CBI court’s order in the High Court.

“The court has upheld the discharge application of P P Pandey for want of evidence against him. What stronger evidence would one want than statements under section 164 of the CrPC (statement before a judicial officer),” he asked.

Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year old girl from Mumbai, and three others, were gunned down by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch in June 2004. The police claimed that the four had come to assassinate Narendra Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, along with other leaders. PP Pandey was Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) in Ahmedabad when the encounter took place.

In the first charge sheet filed by the CBI in 2013, seven Gujarat police officers were named as accused, including IPS officers PP Pandey, DG Vanzara and GL Singhal, facing charges for kidnapping, murder and conspiracy.

The CBI had named four IB officials, including IB's special director Rajinder Kumar and officer M S Sinha, in supplementary charge sheet, which still awaits the Centre's sanction.
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