Pandey can tell about identity of two encounter victims: CBI

A special court reserved its order on a CBI application seeking 14 days` custody of PP Pandey in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

Ahmedabad: A special court here on Wednesday reserved its order on a CBI application seeking 14 days` custody of Gujarat`s Additional Director General of Police P P Pandey in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

CBI lawyer said Pandey`s interrogation was needed to find out the real identities of two of the encounter victims Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H S Khutwad, after the conclusion of arguments, reserved the order, which is likely to be pronounced on August 17.

After the Supreme Court refused him anticipatory bail, Pandey yesterday surrendered before the special CBI court here and was sent to judicial custody till August 27.

He was Joint Commissioner of Police in Ahmedabad when Mumbai-based Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Rana and Johar were gunned down by allegedly by Crime Branch sleuths on June 15, 2004, in what CBI terms as a fake encounter.
CBI lawyer Ejaz Khan today argued that Pandey was very much a part of the larger conspiracy and the agency needed to interrogate him to find out the roles of other accused.

Pandey knew about the source of weapons and ammunition that was `planted` on encounter victims, he said.

"Agency still has to ascertain the true identity of Johar and Rana, and as Pandey had visited these two when they were kept in prior custody, his custodial interrogation is vital," said Khan.

But Pandey`s lawyer Ajay Choksi claimed that agency had collected all the evidence from other six accused police officers and it did not need Pandey`s custody.

"Pandey`s role was only limited to getting intelligence inputs from then Ahmedabad Police Commissioner and to pass it on to his subordinates," Choksi said.


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