Ahmedabad: The Special CBI Court will decide on 1 March whether to set aside the order of the judicial magistrate denying custody of two senior Gujarat police officers to CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H S Khutwad, last Friday, denied CBI a remand of Superintendent of Police Girish Singhal, the first Gujarat police officer to be arrested in the case by CBI.
While Singhal was arrested on Thursday, retired DSP J G Parmar was arrested on Friday. But additional senior civil judge also denied CBI Parmar's custody the next day.
CBI today moved the special court against these orders. Judge Gita Gopi, who heard the arguments, is likely to pronounce the order on Friday. CBI counsel Ejaz Khan argued that the time available for interrogation was short, and further custodial interrogation was needed.
"There are certain aspects which are of only exclusive knowledge to the accused police officers," said Khan. But Singhal's counsel Brijrajsinh Jhala said, "Investigation into the encounter has not stopped despite denial of police remand. Three more arrests (J G Parmar, Tarun Barot and Bharat Patel) have taken place. Singhal has cooperated during interrogation and was also present during three reconstructions of the Ishrat Jahan encounter.
"The Gujarat High Court had also asked CBI to probe what 'mission' the four persons who were killed in the alleged fake encounter, were on. But, the agency is not probing that and instead arresting police officers," Jhala argued.
Sanjay Thakkar, lawyer for J G Parmar, argued, "The original FIR in the encounter was filed by Parmar. The Gujarat High Court had asked the CBI to probe it. But it is not probing it....The accused has already been probed thrice."
Thakkar also said that probe had been going on for 25 months, and Parmar had been cooperating, he had also remained present during reconstruction of the encounter.
"Parmar is already under judicial custody in another encounter case (that of Sadik Jamal). So CBI can interrogate him whenever they want to in the jail," Thakkar said.
Mumbai-based 19-year-old girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter by Gujarat police on June 15, 2004 between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. Police's case was that the four were on a mission to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.