CBI court turns down discharge pleas of Vanzara, Amin

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Ahmedabad, Aug 7 (IANS) A special CBI court on Tuesday turned down the discharge applications of two retired IPS officials D.G. Vanzara and N.K. Amin in the 2004 alleged fake encounter killings of Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan and others.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge J.K. Pandya had reserved the order and delivered it on Tuesday. The arguments from Vanzara and Amin in their discharge pleas had concluded on July 18.

While holding that the role of these two accused was greater than that of retired in-charge Director-General of Police P.P. Pandey, the CBI judge rejected the petition of the two senior police officials.

The court had earlier allowed the discharge petition of Pandey in the same case where the retired official had claimed that he was not on the spot of the crime. Vanzara and Amin had sought parity with Pandey’s case and sought to be discharged.

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“Once we have the official copy of the order, we can know the view of the court. The order may be of rejection but we have not read it. Pandey was discharged under Section 197. Principles of law suggest that if it has happened for one accused, then others should also be dealt at parity,” said N.K. Amin to the media after the CBI court judgment.

After the CBI court ruling, Vanzara and Amin now remained accused in the case and face the trial.

The counsel for the former IPS officials in their arguments had maintained that both were framed in the encounter case by the CBI as they were not even present at the scene of crime. To buttress their claims, they cited the acceptance of discharge plea of the former Acting DGP by the same court.

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Nineteen-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan from Mumbra in Mumbai was gunned down by the Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 2004, with allegations that she and others were terrorists and had come to gun down then Chief Minister and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shamima Kausar, the mother of Ishrat Jahan, had opposed the discharge applications. In her application she stated that her daughter was abducted, kept in illegal confinement and murdered in cold blood by the police officers and was “falsely projected as an encounter killing”. Her advocate had also argued that the “accused cannot be discharged even before the supplementary chargesheet is placed before this court”.

A supplementary chargesheet was pending with the special CBI court (magisterial) in the same case that names Intelligence Bureau officials, including former Special Director Rajinder Kumar.

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Kauser, on her part, contended that there were eye-witnesses whose statements had been recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code which established the role of the senior police officials in the case.

Amin said he would consider approaching a higher court, while Vanzara refused to comment, saying that the case was sub-judice.

The CBI judge announced further hearing in the case on September 7.

–IANS

desai/nir

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