Ishrat case: HC rejects STF probe, appoints new SIT chief

Guj HC had rejected state govt`s plea for transfering the Ishrat encounter case to STF.

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court Thursday came
down heavily on state government and rejected its proposal for transfer of 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case to Special Task Force (STF), while appointing a new chairman of the special investigation team (SIT) formed by it to probe the case.
A division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice
Abhilasha Kumari today ordered appointment of 1980 batch IPS
officer of Maharashtra cadre Dr Satyapal Singh as new SIT
chief. Singh will replace Karnail Singh, who was relieved off
the charge on his request following his posting in the north-eastern state of Mizoram.
During the hearing today, counsel for Central
government, Pankaj Champaneri, produced names of three senior
IPS officers suggested by Union Ministry of Home Affairs as asked by the court last month.
Besides Singh, other names included J V Ramadu, a
1981 batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre and Rajesh
Ranjan of 1984 batch from Bihar cadre.

The HC appointed Singh after Champaneri informed
that out of the three Singh is the one who would be able to
spare maximum time for the probe.

Meanwhile, the high court came down heavily on the
state government when it proposed in an affidavit that probe
in the case could be transfered to STF, working under a
Monitoring Authority formed by it to probe the deaths resulting from police encounters.
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, who was appearing for
the state government, proposed transfer of the case to STF
contending that the SIT formed by the court was not
functioning properly and moreover there were differences among
its members.

At this point Justice Patel lashed out at Trivedi
saying that why was state filing this affidavit when a similar
proposition made by it had been rejected when the SIT was
formed last year.