The Gujarat Government, directed in May before the summer vacation holidays to respond to the petition by former Ambassador to Romania, Julio Ribeiro, had not done so and was directed today to do so by tomorrow, Friday, June 10.
The state government will finally file an affidavit in the explaining its stand on the appointment of DGP P P Pandey as in-charge police chief. Pandey’s elevation for the top job has been challenged by the ex-DGP Julio Ribeiro in the HC. Ribeiro has sought interim relief by removing Pandey from the post.
During the third hearing of the PIL on Wednesday public prosecutor Manisha Lavkumar told the division bench led by Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy that the state will file an affidavit by Friday. The bench adjourned the hearing for a week. Last month when the PIL came up for hearing the Court had asked the public prosecutor to take instruction from the state.
The PIL has challenged Pandey’s appointment mainly on the ground that being a chargesheeted accused in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case Pandey should not have been given the job. “Such an additional charge is against the doctrine of public trust, is against the law and express guidelines of the Supreme Court,” the PIL has stated.
It further says, “…the police force of a state can’t be headed by a person accused of extremely serious offence of murder of four persons, especially, when the trials are yet to begin. In a sense, such an appointment is itself a breach of law, being arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”
In the brief hearing today, Ribeiro’s lawyer I H Syed argued that according to the Supreme Court guidelines, only an impeccable officer should be appointed as a DGP of a state and not the one who is facing serious criminal charges. He said that Pandey has been charge sheeted for wrongful confinement, abduction and murder of four people.
At the last and second hearing of thr PIL against the Gujarat Government's controversial decision to appoint a man with serious criminal charges as top policeman in the state, thr Gujarat High Court today directed the state to seek "instructions" by the next date. Yet, the government had found no time to file a reply.
PP Pandey had obtrained permission from a lower court to travel to the USA..
In the one week since the case filed on behalf of former Ambassador to Romania,Julio Ribeiro and argued by Rahul Sharma was heard on April 29, the GOG had not bothered to instruct its counsel.
Here is a brief chronology of the case.
Four persons, including Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old girl named, were killed in Ahmedabad. This has been alleged to be an encounter with police officers of the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Ahmedabad City involved as accused. An offence, vide Ahmedabad City DCB PS I CR No. 8/ 2004, was registered against the four deceased persons.
The Investigating Officer (IO) filed a final report under section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in the POTA Court at Ahmedabad
The POTA Court at Ahmedabad did not approve the final report and directed further investigation.
The Gujarat Hon’ble High Court admitted Special Criminal Application No. 822 of 2004, filed by Mrs Shamima Kauser, mother of Miss Raza Ishrat Jahan, one of the deceased, stating that the police had killed her daughter in a fake encounter, and also praying for a transfer of the investigation to the CBI.
The High Court passed an order in the Special Criminal Application No. 822 of 2004, resulting in the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising (i) Shri Pramod Kumar, ADGP, (ii) Shri Mohan Jha, Inspector General of Police (IGP), and (iii) Shri JK Bhatt, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), for further investigation of DCB PS I CR No. 8/ 2004.
SP Tamang, Metropolitan Magistrate, Court No. 1, Ahmedabad concluded the inquiry under section 176 CrPC and submitted his report to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate , Ahmedabad. In the inquiry report, the Metropolitan Magistrate had held that the actions amounted to an extra-judicial killing and, moreover, that the concerned police officers had committed premeditated murder of the deceased persons with the motive of earning favour and appreciation of the Chief Minister.
G.L. Singhal –one of the police officers indicted –filed Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 10624 of 2009 in the High Court of Gujarat and tried to get a stay on the the operation of the report dated 07.09.2011 of SP Tamang, Metropolitan Magistrate, and to declare it as null and void. Simultaneously, G.L. Singhal also filed Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 10621 of 2009 to be impleaded as a party in the proceedings of Special Criminal Application No. 822 of 2004.
The State of Gujarat also filed Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 10625 of 2009, in Special Criminal Application No. 822 of 2004, contending that the inquiry report dated 7.9.2009 of the Metropolitan Magistrate was without jurisdiction.
After hearing these applications, the Hon’ble High Court stayed the inquiry report dated 07.09.2009 of the Metropolitan Magistrate, and directed an inquiry against the Metropolitan Magistrate.
The Supreme Court set aside the order of the High Court order dated 09.09.2009 and requested the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court to constitute a Division Bench for final hearing of the said matter.
The Division Bench of the High Court heard all the petitions filed by parents of two of the deceased persons, viz. Ishrat Jahan and Javed @ Pranesh Pillai, State of Gujarat, and some police officers involved in the purported encounter, and, directed transfer of the investigation to the SIT headed by Shri RK Raghavan, which was formed by the Supreme Court for investigating some of the cases related to riots in the year 2002.
The Division Bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat reviewed it’s order dated 12.08.2010 and constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for the investigation of Ahmedabad City DCB PS I CR No. 8/2004 (Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case), as per judgment and order in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 9832 of 2010 in Special Criminal Application No. 1850 of 2009 with Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 10621 of 2010.
The High Court, in the proceedings monitoring the investigation, expressed serious displeasure on a complaint that was filed against a member of the SIT in the aftermath of the seizure of concealed evidence from the State FSL on 03.03.2012. It also directed the State to transfer within a week P.P. Pandey, then ADGP CID (Intelligence), and others as per the earlier requisition of the SIT in pursuance of the directive dated 28.01.2011 of the High Court.
The Gujarat High Court observed in the hearing of matters relating to Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case that there appeared to be State complicity in disobeying the earlier orders of the Court for transferring P.P. Pandey, now ADGP CID (Crime) and then ADGP CID (Intelligence), and others from their positions as per directions issued on 28.01.2011 by the Court.
The High Court observed in para 11 of its order in matters regarding Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case that witnesses were being made to retract during ongoing investigation, and that “SIT shall ensure that appropriate protection is extended to the witnesses and if any requisition is made by SIT to the State for providing extra protection to the witnesses, the same shall be made available by the State Government.”
The High Court observed in para 4, 5 and 7 of its order in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 10011 of 2011, which was in connection with the matters of Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case, that the contention regarding State sponsored obstruction of the investigation had considerable substance.
The High Court of Gujarat declared in the open Court the SIT’s unanimous finding that the Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case was a case of fake encounter and indicated that a fresh offence under Section 302 etc. of IPC and other applicable sections of law shall be registered against the police officers involved in the case.
Judgment and order was passed by the High Court of Gujarat in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 15981 of 2010, in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 9832 of 2010 with Special Criminal Application No.1850 of 2009, directing, inter alia, that the SIT shall file a complaint with the CBI against those responsible for the fake encounter, and that the CBI will investigate the case thereafter.
The SIT filed an FIR with the CBI, New Delhi, under Section 302 of IPC against concerned persons including P.P. Pandey, IPS, then Additional Director General of Police, CID (Crime), Gujarat State. Accordingly, CBI case bearing RC-BS1/S/2011/0005/Mumbai under sections 302, 364, 368, 346, 120-B, 201, 203, 204, 217, 218 of the IPC, and sections 25(1)(e), 27 of the Arms Act, was registered on 16.12.2011. Shri P.P. Pandey was arraigned as accused no. 3 in the FIR so registered.
Warrant u/s 70 CrPC was issued by the court of the Additional CJM, CBI court no. 2, Ahmedabad, for the arrest of P.P. Pandey, since he reported sick from duty and became untraceable since 20.04.2013 and did not comply with two notices issued under section 41-A of CrPC for remaining present before the CBI-SIT.
Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 95 of 2013, filed by the absconding accused, P.P. Pandey, in the Supreme Court of India praying for quashing the FIR of the CBI case No RC-BS1/2011/S/0005/Mumbai, and seeking protection against his arrest, etc, was dismissed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Subsequently, a proclamation u/s 82 CrPC was issued against him by the Additional CJM, CBI Court No. 2, Mirzapur, Ahmedabad.
CBI filed charge-sheet against P.P. Pandey, a proclaimed offender, and others for offences punishable under sections 302, 364, 368, 346, 120-B, 201, 203, 204, 217, 218 of Indian Penal Code and 25(1)(e), 27 of Arms Act.
P.P. Pandey surrendered to CBI Court in Ahmedabad. Sent to police remand and then to judicial custody.
P.P. Pandey released on bail, and within four days of his release was reinstated by the State of Gujarat in service and posted as Additional DGP (Law and Order).
P.P. Pandey was not promoted as DGP when his juniors in service were promoted to the rank of DGP.
He was subsequently promoted and posted as DGP (Law and Order).
Shri P.P. Pandey was transferred and posted as Director, Anti Corruption Bureau.
Shri P.P. Pandey has been given additional charge of the post of DGP, Gujarat State, vide the impugned order passed by the State of Gujarat.
PIL filed by Julio Ribeiro in the Gujarat High Court challending the appointment on legal and moral grounds.