CBI plea for custody of cop arrested in Ishrat case rejected
Ahmedabad: A Gujarat court on Friday rejected a CBI application seeking 14 days` remand of IPS officer Girish Singhal, who was arrested in the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others, and sent him to judicial custody until March 8.
The Special CBI Court judge HS Khutwad observed while there were serious allegations against the police officer and without his presence probe could not have been conducted but the CBI could not produce appropriate grounds for his remand.
In its remand application, the CBI had sought custody of Singhal, arrested yesterday, on the grounds that incriminating materials like Rs 3.61 lakh cash, six cellular phones and pen drives, one laptop and two USB multimedia storage devices were recovered from him.
CBI counsel Ejaz Khan had argued that seizure of huge cash and other incriminating material discloses that allegations of Singhal being involved in the fake encounter are well founded and require further detailed investigation.
It said the offence allegedly committed by the accused is very serious and that he is a senior police officer who was present at the scene of the crime and commanded the whole exercise.
Opposing CBI`s remand application, Singhal`s counsel Brijrajsinh Jhala maintained that the grounds on which the remand was sought are insufficient, as the probe into the recovered material could be conducted even in the absence of the accused.
"Though the accused has been charged with very serious offence, the investigating officer has failed to convince this court about the serious charges against the accused," the court said.
Yesterday, CBI had arrested Singhal in connection with
the alleged fake encounter of 19-year-old student Ishrat Jahan by a team of Ahmedabad crime branch officers in 2004.
In its FIR, CBI alleged Singhal, who is now the SP at the State Crime Records Bureau, had played an active role in the encounter which was later found to be fake by the Special Investigation Team constituted by the Gujarat High Court.
Ishrat Jahan along with three others - Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana - were killed by a team of Ahmedabad city crime branch officers on an empty road stretch between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar on June 15, 2004.
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