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CBI takes no stand on pleas of Vanzara, Amin in Ishrat case

CBI takes no stand on pleas of Vanzara, Amin in Ishrat case
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Ahmedabad: The CBI on Wednesday refused to take any stand on the pleas of former police officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin seeking to drop court proceedings against them in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case.

The Gujarat government has refused sanction to prosecute them.

In his submission before special judge J K Pandya, CBI lawyer R C Kodekar said the court may pass "appropriate order in accordance with the law" on the pleas of Vanzara and Amin.

The court on Wednesday also allowed the lawyer of Ishrat Jahan's mother Shamima Kauser to file a reply opposing applications of Vanzara and Amin, and argue on the matter on April 9.

The court said it will then decide the matter on merit.

The CBI had earlier informed the court that the Gujarat government had declined to grant it sanction to prosecute Vanzara and Amin under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Vanzara is a former deputy inspector general of police, while Amin retired as a superintendent of police.

Under section 197, a government's sanction is necessary for the prosecution of a public servant.

After the government refused a sanction to prosecute them, Vanzara and Amin moved the court, praying that the proceedings against them in the case be dropped.

Kodekar had sought time to seek instructions from the CBI on the pleas filed by the two former police officers.

On August 7, 2018, the court had rejected discharge applications of Vanzara and Amin, and also sought to know from the CBI whether the agency had requested the government for a sanction to prosecute them, so that the court could frame charges against them and start with the trial.

Ishrat, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by the Gujarat police in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

The police claimed that they were terrorists and were planning to kill then chief minister Narendra Modi. A Special Investigation Team set up by the Gujarat High Court later concluded that the encounter was fake, after which the HC transferred the case to the CBI.

In the first charge-sheet filed by the CBI in 2013, seven Gujarat police officers, including IPS officers P P Pandey, Vanzara and G L Singhal, were named as accused. The court later discharged Pandey.

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