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Ishrat case takes curious turn

The Ishrat Jahan case took a strange turn today. Relief for Intelligence Bureau officers - Rajinder Kumar and two others -came in an unexpected way. The Ministry of Home Affairs has refused prosecution sanction in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. According to IH Syed, who appeared for Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar, as the MHA did not grant sanction to the investigative agency, charges cannot be framed against the officials, including Rajinder Kumar along with other sleuths. 

Legally speaking, this is because since permission under Section 197 of the CrPC (a mandatory and prior permission to prosecute any government servant in an offence) has not been granted, charges against the accused (IB officers) cannot be framed, According to the previous Central bureau of Investigation (CBI), the killing of Jahan and three others in a fake encounter in 2004 was result of joint conspiracy of Gujarat police and the IB. BJP spokespersons have stated that there was no evidence against Rajinder Kumar. 

As it happens the man is now a BJP MP. Without jumping to the usual hyperbole, accusations and counter accusations surrounding the case it must be noted that this surely is the biggest case of conflict of interest that the Home Ministry has so easily dismissed.  On July 3, 2013, the CBI, the prosecuting agency of the encounter case, had filed a <g data-gr-id="37">chargesheet</g> and stated that <g data-gr-id="38">Mumbra</g>-based college girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were gunned down in a fake encounter on June 15, 2004 in a joint operation of IB and Gujarat Police. 

During the course of the <g data-gr-id="34">investigation</g> the testimony by another officer claimed that Kumar met the 19-year-old woman, Ishrat Jahan while she was in illegal police custody before being killed. Another testimony by a cop claims that an AK-47 assault rifle, which the police said belonged to those killed, had actually been sourced from the Gujarat unit of the IB, to which Kumar belonged then, and planted on the four dead bodies. Ishrat Jahan’s family is likely to challenge the Union Home Ministry’s decision not to prosecute four IB officials in the alleged encounter case. It is indeed perplexing as to why the Home Ministry would try to <g data-gr-id="35">stone wall</g> the resolution of this vexed investigation. The CBI is not above board in this as well. Unfortunately, the CBI works in a way that raises the suspicion that, probably, it has arrived at a pre-conceived conclusion. Any evidence that comes contrary to that is brushed aside as inconsequential. Very remote and non-corroborative evidence is accepted by them. We have not heard the last of this case.

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