In a relief for Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah in the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others, a local CBI court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking arraignment of the former Gujarat Home Minister and ex-police commissioner of Ahmedabad K.R. Kaushik as accused in the case.
The plea was filed by Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh who was among four persons, including Ishrat, who were killed in alleged staged encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
The Special CBI Judge Geeta Gopi dismissed the plea, saying the statements in the CBI charge sheet cannot be considered sufficient to arraign Mr. Shah and Mr. Kaushik as accused and the plea cannot be granted at this stage.
It was rejected after the investigating agency filed an affidavit in reply on May 7 before the court giving a ‘clean chit’ to Mr. Shah citing lack of evidence against him.
Though the probe agency has filed a supplementary charge sheet, the court has not taken its cognisance as the CBI did not submit the Home Ministry’s nod to prosecute officers named in it.
The statements cannot be taken into account until they become part of court inquiry, the court said.
In the charge sheet, statements of certain witnesses and accused IPS officers allegedly indicated involvement of Mr. Shah and Mr. Kaushik in the case.
The CBI had also said that there was no evidence against Mr. Kaushik to show his involvement in the encounter and so he was made a witness in the case.