Ahmedabad, May 2: A special CBI court on Thursday dropped the proceedings against former IPS DG Vanzara and police officer N K Amin in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, citing refusal of permission by the Gujarat government to prosecute them.
The court of CBI Judge J K Pandya, who had earlier in August 2018, rejected the discharge plea of both the accused officials, dropped the proceedings, as the state government has not granted sanction to the CBI to prosecute them, as required under Section 197 of CrPC.
They filed a fresh discharge petition, after the rejection of the earlier one. The court allowed the petition. As per Section 197 of CrPC, the government's sanction was necessary for the prosecution of a public servant for any action that was part of an official duty.
During the hearing, counsel of Ishrat's mother Shamin Kaushar, Vrinda Grover, had argued that Section 197 was not applicable in this case, as it deals with abduction, confinement and murder, which were grave and heinous crimes, falling outside the scope of the official duty.
However, Vanzara's counsel counter argued that the judicial findings of the case had established that there was no fake encounter on part of the police officers and the sanction for prosecution was declined after the State went through materials on record, examined the facts and circumstances of the case fully.
Earlier, Former in-charge DGP of Gujarat, P P Pandey was discharged in the case in February last year. He had spent 19 months in jail, before being let out on bail in February, 2015. Vanzara and Amin had, in their earlier petitions, sought discharge on the basis of parity with Pandey's case, but it was rejected.
Ishrat Jahan (19) and three others, including her boyfriend Pranayesh Pillai alias Javed Shaikh and two Pakistani nationals, were gunned down by Gujarat police in June, 2004, near Ahmedabad.
Police claimed that they were Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives, planning to assassinate the then CM Narendra Modi. The case was later handed over to CBI, which claimed that it was a fake encounter and in its first charge sheet in 2013, it named seven Gujarat police officers, including Vanzara, Pandey and one GL Singhal.UNI