Ishrat case: Supreme Court rejects Gujarat Govt plea challenging SIT probe

Friday, November 12, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Gujarat Government plea challenging the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) by the Gujarat High Court to probe the “fake” encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others.

An apex court bench comprising of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar rejected the state government’s plea that contended that the SIT should be allowed to continue and that the High Court had no power to constitute another SIT.

“Court is not deprived of its power. In exceptional cases, it can do (constitute a team). In the facts of the case, we find no reason to interfere,” the Supreme Court bench observed.

Earlier, the apex court had asked the Gujarat High Court to constitute a separate SIT to probe Ishrat Jahan’s killing.

The apex court had asked the High Court to appoint a separate SIT on a plea by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT, headed by former CBI director R K Raghvan, expressing its inability to probe the case.

But the Gujarat Government, in turn, had approached the court challenging the constitution of an SIT, stating saying that a probe into the case be given to another SIT formed by the state government.

Ishrat was gunned down by Gujarat police along with Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

The encounter was carried out by a team of Ahmedabad Crime Branch led by DIG D.G. Vanjara. The police alleged that all four were Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives involved in a plot to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In August 2009, the Ahmedabad Metropolitan court ruled that the killing of Ishrat Jehan was a fake encounter. (ANI)

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