Ishrat case: Court reserves order on discharge plea for August 4

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Ahmedabad, July 18 : A Special CBI Court here on Wednesday reserved its verdict for August 4 on the discharge pleas of two retired police officers D.G. Vanzara and N.K. Amin in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan shootout case even as her mother strongly opposed the plea.

Continuing their arguments, counsel for the two former police officials maintained that they were framed in the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation despite the fact they were not even present at the spot on Ahmedabad outskirts.

They cited the discharge of former Acting Director General of Police P.P. Pandey in the case to buttress their claim.

The mother of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in the alleged shootout along with three others in a joint operation by Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers, opposed the discharge applications.

The counsel for Shamima Kauser asserted that her daughter was abducted, kept in illegal confinement and murdered in cold blood by the Gujarat Police officers and this was “falsely projected as an encounter killing”.

Kauser’s advocate Parvez Pathan argued that the “accused cannot be discharged even before the supplementary charge sheet is placed before the court”.

A supplementary charge sheet is pending with the Special CBI Court that names Intelligence Bureau officials, including its former Special Director Rajinder Kumar.

The arguments on the discharge applications of Vanzara and Amin concluded on Wednesday, following which Special CBI judge J.K. Pandya reserved the order for August 4.

Kauser had pointed out that there are eyewitnesses whose statements have been recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code that establish the roles of senior police officials.

She also objected to the submissions of the accused applicants for “making baseless, defamatory, malicious and motivated aspersions against Ishrat Jahan in a desperate bid to cover up their crime”.

She said in the written submission that she would challenge the discharge order of Pandey in the Gujarat High Court.

Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old Mumbai college girl, was killed along with her friend Javed Shaikh and two alleged Pakistani nationals, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, on June 15, 2004.