The Gujarat High Court on Friday admitted a petition to review the decision of a Division Bench handing over the investigation into the case of the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court.
At the behest of the Supreme Court, the SIT — headed by the former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan — was entrusted with probing nine massacres that happened during the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.
A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari asked the SIT to take over the investigation of the Ishrat Jahan encounter as well.
The review petition was filed by Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, who was killed along with Ishrat Jahan and two alleged Pakistan-based terrorists in the encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004.
The High Court admitted the petition and its hearing is likely to be held on Monday.
Mr. Pillai in his review petition claimed the division bench erred in its judgment of asking the SIT to inquire into the matter and that it overlooked certain ground realities, such as the team being appointed by the Supreme Court specially to look into the riot cases and not the alleged fake encounter cases.
The Division Bench issued the order last week on the petitions filed by Mr. Pillai as well as Shamima Kausar, mother of Ishrat Jahan.
The petitioners wanted the case handed over to the CBI as the Central agency was also probing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Kausar Bi murder case, but the High Court decided in favour of the SIT.
Meanwhile, in another alleged fake encounter case, the High Court extended the stay till Monday on the arrest of the former Additional Director-General of police, Kuldeep Sharma, against whom an FIR had been filed in the Rajkot police station for an alleged fake encounter killing of two persons in Kutch in May 1984.
The direction came after Mr. Sharma sought time to file his submission in court on his own petition seeking the quashing of the FIR against him on the grounds that in the last 26 years, his name had never cropped up in connection with the alleged fake encounter killing.
Keywords: Ishrat Jahan encounter