Ishrat case: Order on Pandey`s advance bail plea reserved

The special court for CBI cases reserved its order on the anticipatory bail plea of Additional Director General of Police Prithvi Pal Pandey.

Last Updated: Aug 03, 2013, 18:20 PM IST

Ahmedabad: The special court for CBI cases here on Saturday reserved its order on the anticipatory bail plea of Additional Director General of Police Prithvi Pal Pandey, an accused in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter killing case, till August 06.

The special court is hearing his application afresh on the directions of the Gujarat High Court which has restrained CBI from arresting the senior IPS officer till August 06.

Judge Gita Gopi is likely to pass the order on Tuesday.

Earlier, Pandey`s lawyer Nirupam Nanavati argued "CBI has been chasing Pandey and wanted to send him behind the bars by hook or by crook....Despite the High Court directing CBI not to arrest Pandey till August 6, the central investigation agency filed an application seeking his judicial custody."

CBI`s branding of his client as a proclaimed absconder (in the charge-sheet of Ishrat case) was totally illegal as Pandey appeared before the concerned court as per the orders of the Supreme Court, Nanavati said.

"It is not an error or mistake. It is a deliberate design so as to deprive Pandey of any discretionary order from seeking justice," he said. "CBI does not want to humiliate only my client (alone) but they want to humiliate the entire police brass of the Gujarat", he added.

"Why have they not proceeded against those officials who have more serious allegations against their name?" Nanavati said referring to omission of names of Intelligence Bureau officials Rajinder Kumar and the then Ahmedabad Police Commissioner KR Kaushik in the charge sheet.

Contending that there was no material against Pandey, Nanavati said he was acting on IB inputs and if IB inputs were to be questioned, there may be a serious law and order problem in the country.

But CBI counsel Ejaz Khan pointed out that the investigation agency had taken over the Ishrat case only on the directions of the Gujarat High Court.

"It is mischievous to term this as (result of) political rivalry. We have not come here as a political rival to anyone. We are investigating the case on the directions of the Gujarat High Court," Khan argued.

Khan said the act committed by some of the accused police officials was "beyond the imagination of a fiction writer".

Rubbishing the claim that the probe against Pandey had some ulterior motive, Khan said, "He chose a wrong way which does not befit a senior police officer. He approached all forums for quashing FIR, staying his arrest, among other prayers. He should have come before a judicial officer and marked his presence."

Pandey was admitted to a city hospital last Sunday after he complained of chest pain and other medical problems.

Without custodial interrogation, truth will not come out and anticipatory bail will adversely affect the investigation, the CBI lawyer said.

The 1982-batch IPS officer was Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Ahmedabad, when Mumbai-based Ishrat, her friend Javed Shaikh, alias Pranesh Pillai, and their associates Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were gunned down by Crime Branch sleuths on June 15, 2004 on the city`s outskirts.

Crime Branch had then claimed the four were terrorists, on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

According to the CBI chargesheet, the encounter was fake.

PTI