The Supreme Court on Monday denied senior IPS officer P.P. Pandey anticipatory bail in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, after a CBI court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him. “Let him surrender before the trial court and seek regular bail,” a Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde told senior counsel Jaspal Singh, who appeared for Mr. Pandey. When counsel said the CBI had interrogated the petitioner and he had cooperated in the investigation, Justice Chauhan said: “You [the petitioner] are absconding. Earlier also, you were absconding. Your conduct makes you disentitled to anticipatory bail.” — Legal Correspondent

Additional Solicitor-General Indira Jaising, who appeared for the CBI, opposed Mr. Pandey’s plea.

Expressing anguish at the court’s time being wasted, Justice Chauhan said: “We are sorry to say that the court’s time is being used by senior advocates and big criminals. We can say on oath that only 5 per cent of the time is being used for common citizens, whose appeals are waiting for 20 or 30 years. This court has become a safe haven for big criminals. You come here for the sixth or eighth time for anticipatory bail and we should hear as if we were a trial court.”

Meanwhile, a Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Ranjana Desai relaxed the bail condition imposed on the former Gujarat Home Minister, Amit Shah, in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

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