The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea seeking initiation of criminal and contempt proceedings against one of the members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which had probed into the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case of Gujarat.
A bench headed by Justice HL Dattu refused to admit the petition of Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, who was among the four killed in the Ishrat Jahan encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The bench said that Pillai's petition was pre-mature and asked him to wait for some time to see if any action is taken on his complaint. Pillai has approached the apex court against the dismissal of his petition by the Gujarat High Court in September last year.
Pillai, in his petition, had sought action against SIT member Mohan Jha for allegedly influencing the witnesses in the case. His petition claimed that the list of witnesses submitted by the CBI along with the charge sheet indicated that senior Gujarat police officer Jha had pressured witnesses to retract from their statements. The CBI had filed its charge sheet against Gujarat's suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police NK Amin and six other police officers, alleging that 19-year-old Mumbai-based girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were killed in a fake encounter in 2004.
The six other police officers include IPS officer GL Singhal, retired DSP JG Parmar, Mehsana Deputy SP Tarun Barot and commando Anaju Chaudhary. It had alleged that it was a joint operation of state police and Intelligence Bureau. Amin was accused of abducting Ishrat and Sheikh from Vasad two days prior to the killings, and firing the shots during the so-called encounter.
They four were gunned down by the Gujarat police on June 15, 2004 on the charge that they were on a mission to eliminate Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The CBI has claimed all the four were killed in a "fake" encounter.