A special court today reserved its order on suspended Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara's plea seeking a copy of the supplementary charge sheet filed by CBI in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H S Khutwad, presiding over the CBI court, reserved his ruling after hearing the arguments of counsel of Vanzara, one of the accused in the case who is currently in jail.
Vanzara's counsel V D Gajjar said even after 20 days of filing of the charge sheet it has not been taken on record by the court. "Under Section 206 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it is magistrate's duty to provide a copy of charge sheet to the accused. But as you have not taken the charge sheet on record, its copy has not been given to us even after 20 days," Gajjar contended. He had sought the copy on February 12.
Khutwad had earlier told Gajjar the charge sheet has not yet been verified and hence, the copy could not be given.
Gajjar had told the court since cognisance has already been taken against Vanzara (as he was made an accused in the first charge sheet), his client must get a copy to make his case for bail strong.
Ishrat (19), a Mumbai-based college student, was killed in the encounter, termed as fake by CBI, along with her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and two others, believed to be Pakistani nationals, on June 15, 2004 near here by a team of Gujarat Police on suspicion they were terrorists.
On February 6, CBI had filed the supplementary charge sheet in which it named Rajinder Kumar, Joint Director of IB posted in Gujarat at the time of the encounter, as a key conspirator in the episode.
Besides Kumar (who retired last year), those named in the charge sheet are serving IB officers T Mittal, M K Sinha and Rajiv Wankhede, who have been booked for criminal conspiracy, wrongful confinement, kidnapping and wrongful concealment, besides under various sections of the Arms Act.
In its first charge sheet last year, the CBI had named IPS officer G L Singhal, suspended IPS officers P P Pandey, Tarun Barot and N K Amin besides Vanzara. The agency had also named retired DSP J G Parmar and Commando Anaju Chaudhary. The Gujarat policemen were charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, among others.