Special CBI Judge asked for the issuance of an arrest warrant for Pande, who has gone underground and is allegedly being protected by the state government
A special CBI court in Ahmedabad on Thursday ordered that an arrest warrant be issued against Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) P P Pande, who according to the central agency was involved in 2004 alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others.
Special CBI Judge Gita Gopi agreeing with the demand of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), directed the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate to issue an arrest warrant for Pande, who as per the central agency had gone underground and was being protected by the state government.
Last week CBI DySP and investigating officer of the encounter case G Kalaimani had filed a revision application challenging the order, dated April 25, of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) of the CBI court which had rejected CBI’s demand for the issuance of arrest warrant for Additional DGP (Crime) Pande.
CBI, in its revision application had sought issuance of arrest warrant for Pande under section 73 of the CrPC (criminal Procedure Code), and claimed that the senior IPS officer was evading CBI and it has become necessary for the agency to seek court’s help.
Counsel for the CBI had told the court during arguments on the application that they had issued two summons, on April 22 and 24 respectively to Pande, but he had not responded to it.
When CBI went to his residence at Ahmedabad, his son refused to give information about Pande’s whereabouts and his official mobile phone was also not reachable, he had added.
CBI wants to interrogate Pande in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, but was not able to do so because the officer was not traceable. Therefore, it had approached the court seeking issuance of arrest warrant for Pande.
Pande, a 1980 batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, was Joint Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad crime branch, when on June 15, 2004, Ishrat Jahan along with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in a police encounter on the outskirts of the city. After the encounter the crime branch officials had claimed that the four were terrorists and had come to Gujarat with a plan to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
In December 2011 the Gujarat High Court handed over the investigation in the encounter to CBI after a special investigation team appointed by it concluded that the killing of Ishrat and three others was stage managed by Gujarat police. As many as five cops have been arrested so far in the case by the CBI.
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