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Centre not averse to CBI probe into Ishrat case

Thursday, April 08, 2010 04:23:39 AM, Agencies

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New Delhi: At the conclusion of arguments, the Supreme Court has reserved verdict on a special leave petition filed by Ishrat Jahan's mother Shamima Kaushar challenging the Gujarat High Court order, which stayed Metropolitan Magistrate S.P. Tamang's report that said her daughter was killed in a fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The petitioner sought a CBI probe on the ground that the High Court had committed a grave error in law as well as on facts in arriving at a finding that Tamang's enquiry amounted to parallel proceedings and overstepping his limits.

On Tuesday, the Centre, supporting the petitioner's stand, said it was open to a CBI inquiry into the alleged fake encounter killings of Ishrat and three others in June 2004.

Additional Solicitor-General Harin Raval, appearing for the CBI, said whatever intelligence inputs furnished by the Centre were not “conclusive proof” and it was for States to act on the inputs. “We are open to a CBI probe.”

Justice B. Sudershan Reddy who, along with Justice S.S. Nijjar, was on a Bench, told counsel: “We will ask the Division Bench of the High Court to examine the single-judge's order. The magistrate's report will remain as it is. Your concern and interest will be protected.”

The Centre, in its affidavit, said its primary concern was to see that the inputs gathered by the security agencies and their efforts were not discredited. Such inputs did not constitute conclusive proof and it was for the State government and the police to act on them. The Centre “is no way concerned with such action [encounter], nor does it not condone or endorse any unjustified or excessive action.”

The SLP said: “The High Court order was based on an erroneous interpretation of Section 176 (1A) of the Cr. PC as every unnatural death entails inquest under Section 174 to ascertain the apparent cause of death.

An investigation by the police and an enquiry by a judicial magistrate under Section 176 (1A) were distinct but simultaneous proceedings, and indeed the Cr.PC mandates these parallel proceedings.”









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