A special CBI court in Ahmedabad on Wednesday discharged three cops accused in the extrajudicial killing of Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and two others in June 2004.
This come after the Gujarat government refused sanction to prosecute the three accused police officials — IPS officer G L Singhal, retired DySP Tarun Barot and an assistant sub-inspector Anaju Chaudhary in the encounter case. With the proceedings against the three dropped, the trial has practically come to an end.
“The court has fixed March 31 for further proceedings,” Brijrajsinh Jhala, advocate of IGP Singhal who is currently posted at Karai Police Academy had said last week.
These were the last three cops who are facing prosecution for charges of murder, criminal conspiracy, abduction and illegal detention of the 19-year-old girl from Mumbra, Ishrat Jahan and her companions Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana, who were shot dead on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in a police encounter.
CBI counsel R C Kodekar on Saturday informed special CBI judge V R Raval about the denial of prosecution sanction under Section 197 of the CrPC. He placed a letter sent by the state government to the CBI in a sealed cover
On October 23, the court had rejected discharge applications filed by these three accused for want of prosecution sanction under Section 197 f the CrPC. Under this section, sanction is required for prosecuting government servants for anything done in the discharge of official duty.
The Ishrat Jahan encounter case was committed against eight cops in a sessions court. One of the accused cops and the complainant, J G Parmar, died during the pendency of the proceedings. A commando, Mohan Kalasava, had died by the time CBI filed the chargesheet.
In 2019, retired DIG D G Vanzara and SP N K Amin were discharged from the case after the state government refused to accord prosecution sanction. Before that, the court had discharged former in-charge DGP P P Pandey in this case.
The Centre had refused to grant the permission for prosecution sanction in this case for four Intelligence Bureau officials including former special director, Rajinder Kumar. Following this, the court had refused to accept the supplementary chargesheet filed against them citing absence of the sanction. Revision applications for accepting the chargesheet and committal of a case were also refused.