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Ishrat Jahan killing: Court inquires about SIT’s view

Monday, August 23, 2010 11:49:08 PM, IANS

Gujarat HC transfers Ishrat case to Supreme Court-appointed SIT

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected Ishrat Jahan's mother, Shamima Kausar's, plea to transfer the encounter-related case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  »

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court Monday asked the advocate general to verify if the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) was inclined to take up the probe into the 2004 Ishrat Jahan killing in a suspected staged-shootout by Gujarat Police.

The SIT, headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R.K. Raghavan, is probing key cases related to the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in the state.

A division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari directed Advocate General Kamal Trivedi to verify whether or not the SIT was willing to take up the responsibility entrusted to it by the court Aug 12.

Trivedi was told to file a report by Aug 31.

Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai and two others were killed June 15, 2004 in an alleged staged shootout near Ahmedabad by a crime branch team headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police D.G. Vanzara who is now in jail in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case.

The court’s direction to Trivedi came while hearing a petition of Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai, and Shamima Kausar, mother of Ishrat Jahan.

The two submitted, through advocate Mukul Sinha, that the judgment of the high court directing the SIT to investigate the case had erred on two grounds and it needed to be reviewed.

Sinha submitted that the court relied upon a judgment in which circumstances were different than the present case hence reliance could not have been placed while passing the order.

He further submitted that the court cannot direct the SIT, which was not a statutory body but was formulated by a judicial order of the apex court, to investigate 10 sensational riot cases of the 2002 riots, as the same could only be done by the apex court.

Sinha further demanded the CBI probe into the case.

The division bench said that as far as the contention on reliance of the judgment was concerned, the court prima facie was not inclined to review that part.

As far as the second contention of handing over the investigation to SIT was concerned, the court may look into that contention for review.

The next hearing is Aug 31.

In August 2009, an Ahmedabad metropolitan court held the killings of Ishrat, Javed and two others as staged shootout. The police case was that the four were part of a terror module aiming to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.







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