Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday took
a serious view of the alleged remarks by former Union home
secretary G K Pillai on the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and
three others, saying "it was not expected of a senior official
In the backdrop of the SIT report filed with the high
court that the 2004 encounter was fake, he was quoted by the
media as saying that the Special Investigation Team had only
found the encounter to be fake but in no way has cleared
Ishrat and others of the terror taint.
A division bench of justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha
Kumari overseeing the hearing to finalise which agency should
probe the encounter case, said, "It was not expected of a
senior officer of his (Pillai`s) level to speak in such a
manner in the media, even though he has retired from service."
"He (Pillai) cannot comment on the findings of the SIT
when the court is seized of the matter," the court said,
adding there is limit to freedom of speech.
Assistant solicitor general P S Champaneri, appearing for
the Union government, also agreed with the court that the
former bureaucrat ought not to have commented on the issue.
It was during Pillai`s tenure as the Union home secretary
in September 2009 that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had
filed a revised affidavit in the Gujarat High Court in the
The ministry had then claimed that the Central government
was not concerned with the merits of the action taken by
Gujarat Police and anything stated in their earlier affidavit
(filed in the Supreme Court) was not intended to support or
justify the action of the state police.