A Special CBI court in Ahmedabad has discharged IPS officer GL Singhal, retired cop Tarun Barot and State Reserve Police Force commando Anaju Chaudhari in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case.
Special Judge Vipul R. Raval observed that the records and reports received from the CBI were carefully and thoroughly examined by the Home Department and thereafter, order of refusal of sanction was passed based on the entire material belonging to the case.
He said, “The order is passed with the application of mind and Government has also come to the conclusion that the offences committed by the present applicants are such which have been committed while discharging their official duties as police officers and also the investigation against the accused is not proper and there is no evidence against the accused.”
The Court noted that the Central Government, Government of Gujarat and Police Agencies of other States had accepted that out of four persons allegedly killed in the encounter, two were admittedly “Pakistani nationals” having entered into Indian territory illegally.
The Special Judge recorded that Ishrat and other deceased persons were Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) operatives and “they had entered the State of Gujarat with a view to carry out a massive terrorist operation including the assassination of some important leaders as a module of terrorist operation of LET.”
The court referred to the intelligence input, which was based on “sound, solid and correct information”, and that the Gujarat Police was required to keep a watch and supervision on the movement and activities of the above said four persons.
The court accepted that the deceased persons were not “simple and ordinary offenders” and held, “Number of anti national and terrorist activities were spread all over India, more particularly in Gujarat State. Being high rank police officers, it was their boundant duty to take necessary steps in order to maintain law and order. There cannot be any presumption of fake encounter on the part of any such police officers. They were to be more cautious and alert to maintain peace in the public at large.”
The Court also stated that looking at the material found from the Indica car, it was established that the information was correct, sound and there was a substantial force in the information and “Therefore, these 4 persons were required to be prevented from all these aforesaid activities.”
The court also added, “There is nothing on record even prima facie to suggest that the victims were not terrorists, the I.B. inputs were not genuine. Therefore, the present application requires to be allowed.” The court finally directed the three applicants/police officers to give fresh security and personal bond of Rs. 15,000.
On May 2, 2019, a special CBI court in Ahmedabad discharged former police officers NK Amin and DG Vanzara in the same alleged fake encounter case. Amin and Vanzara had filed pleas seeking that proceedings against them be dropped after the Gujarat government did not grant the CBI sanction to prosecute them. Judge JK Pandya of the CBI court stated that since the government had denied sanction, the former police officers’ pleas were allowed, and that proceedings against them would be dropped.
On June 15, 2004, Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old student, along with three others, were killed in an alleged fake encounter by members of the Gujarat Police outside Ahmedabad. The police had claimed that they were plotting to kill then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
According to LiveLaw, a high court-appointed Special Investigation Team had later on concluded that the encounter was fake, after which the CBI had proceeded to register a case against various police officials. With this discharge order, the trial in the matter has come to an end, unless the CBI decides to file an appeal against it.
The order may be read here: