Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Friday directed the state government that services of IPS officer Satish Verma be made available to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the 2003 Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
"Government will spare the services of Satish Verma, as required by the CBI for 4 months or till the investigation is over, whichever is earlier," the division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari said in its order.
"If the investigation is not over by that time and CBI still needs further assistance and help of Satish Verma, the agency will have to move this court with the reasons thereof," added the bench.
The Gujarat government gave unequivocal undertaking to the high court that it will stop every inquiry and actions against Satish Verma, which was initiated while he was a member of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the HC in the fake encounter case.
Verma, on his part assured the court that he was ready to assist the CBI team from Monday.
Verma, member of the SIT, formed by the high court to determine if the encounter was genuine or fake, was the first to file affidavit in the high court saying the encounter was fake. The high court had later transferred the case to the CBI.
Earlier, in a letter on June 8, 2012, the CBI had requested the government to depute Verma for six months to assist the central agency in the inquiry into the Ishrat Jahan encounter.
On June 22, the high court had asked Advocate General Kamal Trivedi to file a reply on the CBI`s request.
Today, advocate general informed the decision taken by additional chief secretary (Home) Varesh Sinha that the state government is ready to spare the services as per the direction of this court.
Following a query raised by Advocate General, court asked the CBI to spell out for how long they required Verma`s services.
"Verma`s services can be made available, but CBI has to be clear whether they need him for full time or on as and when required," bench asked CBI.
Special counsel for CBI Yogesh Rawani informed the court that they need Verma till the investigation is over or at least for six months, though court allowed only 4 months at this stage.
On the issue of Verma`s petition regarding the inquiry initiated by the state government, today Advocate General Trivedi made a declaration, "No further factual inquiry or any actions will be taken pursuant to the complaint filed against Verma."
An FIR was filed against the 1986-batch IPS officer after he was accused of misbehaviour and issuing threats. This prompted the state government to order an inquiry.
Verma, has filed a petition before the high court alleging "systematic and wilful acts by the government with ulterior designs of influencing the investigations in Ishrat Jahan encounter case by pretending to enquire into a false and coerced complaint".
On his petition, the high court, on June 22 had slammed the state government and ordered a stay on all the proceedings of the inquiry and asked the advocate general to make a statement on the issue.
"While transferring the investigation (in Ishrat case) to CBI on 1 December 2011, we had specifically restrained the state government from taking action against any member of SIT without prior approval of this court," the bench had noted.
Today, following the assurance by the state government when the bench asked Verma about the satisfaction of his main grievance, he alleged, "This is not about actions taken against me or my harassments. But their intentions are to obstruct the Ishrat Jahan investigation."