The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is into the final lap of filing a supplementary charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. If sources are to be believed, the CBI has reportedly firmed up its decision not to charge former Gujarat Home minister Amit Shah in the case.
Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter by Gujarat police on the outskirts of the city on June 15, 2004.
Sources have revealed that CBI does not have sufficient proof to indict Shah, a key aide of Gujarat chief minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Shah is currently BJP’s general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh. Not just Shah, there is a strong buzz that CBI is also considering not to include many others in the supplementary charge sheet owing to lack of substantial evidences against them.
The CBI had earlier filed a charge sheet on July 3 terming the encounter fake and saying it was a joint operation between Gujarat police and Intelligence Bureau (IB). In August, 2013, Gujarat additional director general of police PP Pandey was arrested by the CBI in the case. Prior to that, IPS officer GL Singhal and five other policemen were arrested. Singhal and others managed to get bail after the CBI failed to file a charge sheet within the stipulated 90 days.
The charge sheet filed by CBI in the Ishrat case mentioned that Singhal had submitted pen drives of recorded conversations with then minister of state for home Amit Shah and one about a meeting held in the office of state attorney general in which some ministers were present to allegedly derail encounter investigations.
CBI had later questioned Shah, another former minister Praful Patel, present minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja and advocate general Kamal Trivedi regarding the recorded conversations submitted by Singhal, before they are to file the second charge sheet in the case. After the questioning, CBI investigation officer submitted the draft supplementary charge sheet to the agency’s director Ranjit Sinha for his approval.
However, sources claimed that Sinha objected to the draft charge sheet and had opined that Shah could not be made an accused just on the basis of call detail records (CDR). It is learned that Sinha also objected to the proposal of including names of GC Murmu, IPS officer AK Sharma, Jadeja and Chudasama as nothing substantial was found during their questioning and subsequent investigation.
Sources claim that Sinha asked the investigation officer to drop these names from the draft charge sheet and submit another charge sheet without the names of Shah and others featuring in the audio tapes given by Singhal. Now, it is believed that supplementary charge sheet will have names of four IB officers, including Rajinder Kumar, Rajiv Wankhede, T Mittal and MK Sinha.
— With Agencies