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Ishrat Jahan case: Centre gets last chance on SIT

Friday, September 17, 2010 10:02:49 PM, IANS

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Gujarat High Court gets free hand in Ishrat Jahan case

The Supreme Court Monday said the Gujarat High Court is free to appoint any agency to investigate the 2004 Ishrat Jahan shootout killing in Ahmedabad. The apex court bench of Justice B. Sudershann Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar passed   

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court Friday took the centre to task for its delay in submitting a list of names for constituting a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Ishrat Jahan suspected staged shoot-out.

The move came even as the state government made available eleven names for consideration.

A division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari gave the last opportunity after Assistant Solicitor General P.S. Champaneri took the plea that the union government, busy with other national issues, has not been able to submit the list of names.

The court said: "The union government should keep in mind that if a new SIT has to be formed, the union of India should have submitted the names so that action could have been taken in time. However, by way of last opportunity, union home ministry should give the names of at least three officers for appointing the new SIT."

The names of police officers submitted by Advocate General Kamal Trivedi on behalf of the Gujarat government for inclusion in the SIT are: Ahmedabad police commissioner Amitabh Pathak, P.C. Thakur, Pramod Kumar, K. Kumarswamy, Mohan Jha, Sanjay Shrivastava, J.K. Bhatt, B.D. Vaghela, D.S. Jebaliya, D.R. Patel and H.G. Patel.

The Gujarat High Court had Sep 9 asked the counsel for the parties to suggest the names of officers for constituting a new SIT to probe the case.

This was after the apex Court had directed the high court to constitute an investigation team of its own but came out against handing over the probe to the R.K. Raghavan headed SIT appointed by it to investigate key 2002 communal riot cases in Gujarat.

The Gujarat High Court had handed over investigation of the case to the Supreme Court appointed SIT Aug 12 which was later stayed by the apex court.

Raghavan's SIT has shown its inability to investigate the Ishrat Jahan case.

Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged staged shoot-out on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004, by a team of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch headed by D.G.Vanzara, who is now in jail on connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake killing.






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