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Saturday 3 December 2011

Gujarat Updates: SC andHC Directives in Sohrabuddin and Ishrat Jahan Cases

Sohrab killing: SC seeks Guj cops’ call detail CDs


Posted On Friday, December 02, 2011 at 02:36:17 AM

Pulling up Gujarat government for its failure in handing over
telephone call details of senior police officials pertaining to the
Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter, the Supreme Court on Thursday
directed the state to place before it all CDs in that regard on

It was hearing a CBI plea challenging Gujarat High Court’s order
granting bail to former state home minister Amit Shah, facing trial
for his alleged involvement in the 2005 fake killing.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai took strong
exception to the state government withholding the CDs containing call
details from the CBI which is probing the case. “On Wednesday, you
(Gujarat government) must have the CDs with you,” the bench said.

It is a very “disappointing” and a “serious matter” that in 9-10 days
of the hearing in the apex court, this information has been withheld,
it said. Gujarat’s Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta assured
the bench that if there is any such CD in the custody of the state, it
would be placed before it on the next date of hearing.

During the proceedings, the bench also asked senior advocate Gopal
Subramanium, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, to point out
the CBI lapses in its probe.

AP govt suppressing info: SCAfter Gujarat, the Andhra Pradesh
government on Thursday came under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court
for protecting its police officials who were allegedly present at the
site where Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in a fake encounter.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said that
there is a “deliberate attempt” on the part of Andhra Pradesh not to
provide information to the CBI which is investigating the case. It
pointed out that the register which records the movement of police
officials was not supplied to the probe agency.


HC asks CBI to probe Ishrat encounter
Saeed Khan, TNN | Dec 2, 2011, 05.09AM IST

AHMEDABAD: A division bench of the Gujarat high court has handed over
investigation in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case to the CBI. This
is the fourth such encounter orchestrated by the Gujarat police to go
to the central agency. The bench of justices Jayant Patel and
Abhilasha Kumari said it was handing over the probe to the CBI because
it could not trust either the special investigation team (SIT) or the
state police to do a credible job.

The judges said in the 148-page order that the court will not monitor
the investigation any further and asked SIT chairman RR Verma to file
a fresh FIR within two weeks and submit a report.

Mumbai girl Ishrat, 19, was killed along with three others - Javed
Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - on
June 15, 2004 by city crime branch sleuths. They were later dubbed as
Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives out to kill chief minister Narendra Modi to
avenge the 2002 riots.

Interestingly, the judges asked IPS officer Satish Verma to help CBI
in the investigation. During a hearing last month, the state had
agreed to a CBI probe, but had objected to any Verma role in the
investigation, saying he was involved in another suspicious encounter.
The brother of a man, who died in police custody in Porbandar in 1996
when Verma was SP there, approached the high court alleging police
inaction against the cop despite orders by HC in 1998. On Thursday too
the state government objected to Verma's name, but the court
disregarded the objections.

The bench observed that the case has now acquired "national, if not
international ramifications". It added that circumstances have now
emerged that put the case in the exceptional category and that CBI
should probe it to instil confidence in the probe. The judges came
down on the state government for opposing an independent inquiry when
its officers had botched up the probe. It also criticized the Centre
for not being able to command its officers. Six top cops have shown
reluctance to investigate the case.

As many as 21 policemen, including IPS officers, are involved in the
encounter. Among the IPS officers are the then Ahmedabad joint police
commissioner (crime branch) P P Pande, then assistant commissioners of
police G L Singhal and N K Amin besides DG Vanzara, who is already in
jail in the Sohrabuddin case.

Advocate I H Syed, who represented Ishrat's mother Shamima Kauser,
said, "This is the perfect order and does complete justice to us. This
is was what we had sought in the original petition. The court giving
liberty to CBI to take help from Satish Verma is amazing."

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