HC directs CBI, state over petn by Jagruti Pandya

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Wednesday directed the CBI and the state government to file replies to a petition seeking re-investigations of murder of former state minister Haren Pandya.

Justice A S Dave of HC said that petition filed by Pandya's wife, Jagruti, would be heard from February 6, and CBI as well as the state should file replies by then.

Jagruti filed the petition last September, after a division bench of High Court dropped murder charges against 12 convicts in the case and criticised the investigation by CBI, calling it "botched up" and "blinkered".

Both CBI and state government have filed appeals against the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court. Pandya, a former minister of state for home in the BJP government in the state, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, near Law Garden area here while out on a morning walk.

After conviction by trial court, 12 accused in the case approached the HC, which, on August 29, dropped charge of murder against them, but upheld the charges of criminal conspiracy and terrorism under POTA.

In her petition, Jagruti has claimed that CBI did not investigated the case properly, despite being provided with several leads.