Haren's wife files plea seeking reinvestigation



Haren`s wife files plea seeking reinvestigation Ahmedabad: The wife of slain former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya, has moved the High Court seeking reinvestigation into his killing, after the Narendra Modi government virtually rejected her plea for a fresh probe into the case.

"I moved the High Court for re-investigations in the case. The High Court in its last order had criticised the CBI for loopholes in investigations," Jagruti told a news agency.

The case will be heard on September 13.

Jagruti's petition, filed yesterday, has named CBI and Gujarat government as respondents in the case.

The Gujarat High Court, in its decision on August 29, dropped charges of murder against 12 persons convicted for assassination of Haren Pandya in 2003, while upholding the charges of criminal conspiracy and terrorism under POTA against them awarded by the trial court.

The division bench of Justice D H Waghela and Justice J C Upadhyayahad also came down heavily on the CBI and called its investigation 'botched up' and 'blinkered'.

Pandya, former Minister of State for Home, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, near Law Garden area of the city, when he had gone for a morning walk. Pandya had sustained seven bullet injuries.

In an emotional plea for a fresh probe into the killing, Jagruti had urged Chief Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader L K Advani, to help her get the culprits to book.

However Gujarat government spokesperson Jay Narayan Vyas had said, the state government has done, whatever was required to be done right on day one and it was for the CBI to challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court and ensure that the guilty are punished.

"After eight years I have lost patience and the High Court judgement has proved that the real killers of Haren are roaming free, while some other persons have been put behind bars and have wrongly served the prison term," Jagruti had earlier said.

"Chief Minister Narendra Modi, should prove himself to be an ideal chief minister by ensuring that real killers are caught and punished," she told reporters, two days after the High Court dropped murder charges against the 12 accused, paving the way for likely release of most of them, as they have already served term in jail for offences they were convicted of during the pendency of the case.

On Jagruti's demand that the case be probed afresh, Vyas had said, "Within hours of Pandya's murder, state government had asked for independent CBI inquiry, and succeeded in getting it.

"Therefore, as far as we are concerned, the state government has done, whatever was required to be done right on day one."

On being asked, if Gujarat Chief Minister was yet to reply to Jagruti's request for re-investigation, (which she said, she had made a year ago), the government spokesman said, "When a process is going on, and CBI is investigating.... the CBI works under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister."

"The remedy is that CBI must challenge this in the Supreme Court, and ensure that the guilty are brought to book and are awarded the strictest punishment," he had said.

Meanwhile, the CBI is also likely to challenge the decision of the Gujarat High Court in the Supreme Court.

Though CBI had claimed that Pandya was killed to avenge the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots, the family of the slain BJP leader, particularly his late father Vitthal Pandya, had alleged that he was targeted for political reasons.

Pandya, who was once considered very close to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, had drifted away from him and even resigned from the government. He was later denied ticket to contest Legislative Assembly elections allegedly at the behest of Modi.

PTI