Ishrat case: Guj HC wants final report by Nov 18

The Gujarat High Court asked the SIT, probing the encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others, to submit its final report by November 18.

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Friday asked
the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the encounter of
Ishrat Jahan and three others, to submit its final report by
November 18.
A division bench of justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha
Kumari said that substantial progress has been made in the
case, after SIT`s new chairman R R Verma has taken over the

This is the second time that the court has directed the
SIT to submit its final report. During the last hearing on
September 10, the SIT was asked to give its final report by
October 7. However, the team had submitted an interim report
saying investigation into the case was not yet over.

During the proceedings today, Verma said that they wanted
to conduct psycho-analysis test on some of the witnesses, who
have turned hostile and the Central Forensic Science
Laboratory (CFSL) has given them time to conduct such a test
between October 19 and 21.

Verma also told the court that they have some queries
regarding the CFSL report on reconstruction of the encounter.
The next hearing of the case will be held on November 21.

Ishrat (19), Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali
Rana and Zeeshan Johar were allegedly killed in a police
encounter here on June 15, 2004.

Advocate Mukul Sinha, representing Gopinath Pillai,
father of deceased Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Shaikh, informed
to the court that the SIT was taking a very long time to give
a final report on the issue.

To this, Justice Patel said that the investigations are
going on in the right direction after Verma took over the
investigations and the SIT has made substantial progress and
as per the report submitted by them, the investigations was
nearing the end.

Patel further said that certain things like CFSL reports
are not in the hands of officers and they also have to depend
on the time taken by the laboratory.

Sinha then sought to know whether this was a preliminary
inquiry for registering an FIR against the accused or after
this, charge sheet will be filed against them.

Justice Patel said if the SIT says that it is a genuine
case of encounter, then there will be no need of filing a
fresh FIR, but if it says that the encounter was not genuine,
then following directions be given accordingly.

After the encounter, Ahmedabad Crime Branch had claimed
that the deceased were members of LeT, who had come to kill
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The probe into the case is being supervised directly by
the high court, which constituted the SIT last year to
investigate genuineness of the encounter, after petitions were
filed by Ishrat`s mother Shamima Kausar and Gopinath Pillai,
in this regard.


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