Ishrat Jahan case: HC raps CBI, tells it to focus on encounter angle


The court also came down heavily on the state government for trying to put the CD on record (of alleged conservations between those killed in the encounter and their Pakistani handlers) and told them to submit the evidence before CBI

Ahmedabad, Jun 14 (PTI):  High Court today rapped the  for delay in filing its charge sheet in the alleged fake encounter case, asking it to ascertain the genuineness of the encounter instead of focusing on  inputs and trying to figure out whether those killed were terrorists or not.

“Prime facie, we find that instead of investigating the genuineness of the encounter, the CBI has focused more on the genuineness of the inputs provided by the IB,” a division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari observed.

“It seems that in past one month you were more interested in figuring out whether the killed persons were terrorists or not but the court is not concerned whether they were terrorists or normal human beings. In any case they should not have been liquidated,” the court observed.

“You have been assigned responsibility to ascertain whether they were killed in a genuine encounter or a fake one and whether they were in prior custody of Gujarat police or not,” the court said.

Court asked CBI to explain why it failed to file the charge sheet within 90 days of the arrest of accused, to which CBI responded that it is very large case of conspiracy and investigation has led us from one point to another which has caused the delay.

The delay in filing the charge sheet has resulted in five accused police officers including IPS G L Singhal securing bail.

The CBI told the court that it will file the charge sheet in the case by first week of July.

But that could not satisfy the court which said that they have doubts that the probe agency would file the charge sheet even by second week of July.

The CBI, on the instruction of the High Court, had taken over the probe of the alleged fake encounter in which 19-year-old Ishrat, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed on the outskirts of the city on June 15, 2004 allegedly by a Crime Branch team led by DIG D G Vanzara.

The court also came down heavily on the state government for trying to put the CD on record (of alleged conservations between those killed in the encounter and their Pakistani handlers) and told them to submit the evidence before CBI.

On behalf of Gujarat Government, Additional Advocate (AAG) General Tushar Mehta, while requesting the court to take the CD on record, claimed that it was a ‘clinching’ evidence showing the persons who were killed were terrorists and that the encounter was genuine.

“This CD, duly endorsed by the highest officer of IB, contains clinching evidence which shows that those who were killed were terrorists and they were killed in genuine encounter,” Mehta claimed.

However, the bench flatly refused to take the request from the state government and observed that, “this is not the right stage and right court to produce any kind of evidence in this case. If you consider it as important piece of evidence submit it to CBI or you can later produce it before the trial court. We are not entertaining it.”

Meanwhile, taking note of some media reports that CBI director has decided to discontinue the services of Gujarat IPS officer Satish Verma who is assisting it in the case investigation on court orders, the bench asked CBI to clarify whether they need further services of Verma or not.

On this, CBI lawyer Ejaz Khan made it clear that agency needs the services of Verma till the investigation concludes.

After getting instructions from CBI he re-submitted that, “at least till the filing of charge sheet we will need his full time services and then his services may be availed whenever its needed.”

This was supported by counsels representing Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar and Javed’s father Gopinath Pillai.

They urged the court to continue Verma’s services on the grounds that investigation was at a crucial stage and Verma should be permitted to perform the responsibility he has been assigned to.

Next hearing of the case is scheduled on June 18.

During past one month, CBI arrested suspended IPS officer D G Vanzara, (prime accused in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case) who is now lodged in Sabarmati jail under judicial custody, following his five days custodial interrogation by the central agency.

CBI had also summoned and grilled Special Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajendra Kumar in the Ishrat case with regard to the inputs generated about four ‘terrorists’ entering Gujarat to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Since the last hearing in High Court, five Gujarat policemen, accused in this case, were granted bail as the central agency failed to file its charge sheet against them within 90 days of their arrest.

Suspended IPS officer G L Singhal, Tarun Barot, J G Parmar, Bharat Patel and Anaju Chaudhary got the benefit of bail because of delay on the part of CBI in filing the charge sheet in the case.

Apart from grilling Rajendra Kumar, the agency had also summoned and examined former DGP of the state K R Kaushik, who was Police Commissioner of the city when the 2004 encounter took place.

As per the FIR registered by Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) in 2004, on receiving intelligence inputs from Kaushik, which were passed on to then Joint Commissioner of Police (DCB), Ahmedabad P P Pandey, they had cordoned off the city and upon arrival of the four, had intercepted them at the outskirts of the city where the encounter took place.

CBI had also examined Special Public Prosecutor at City civil and sessions court Sudhir Brahmabhatt, who was then a public prosecutor.

 

Gujarat- Dalit woman sarpanch who ‘stands against’ predecessors sent to jail #Vaw


Parimal Dabhi : Lakhvad (Mehsana), Thu Apr 18 2013, IE
MehsanaThe main entrance of Lakhvad village, around 3-4 kilometres from Mehsana.

A dalit woman sarpanch from Lakhvad village of Mehsana district, Kamla Makwana, her husband, their son and two others were arrested late Tuesday on the basis of a recent complaint of breach of trust and criminal intimidation lodged by former deputy sarpanch Ratilal Patel. They were later sent to Mehsana district jail after a local magisterial court rejected their bail petitions.She had reportedly filed multiple complaints of harassment against her predecessor from locally dominant Patel community, Prahlad Patel, and his then deputy, Ratilal Patel. Both Ratilal and Prahlad allegedly didn’t want to let Kamla function as the village Sarpanch.

Following the arrest, the jailed woman sarpanch now wants to resign after getting fed up of the harassment she has been subjected to by her predecessors, sources said.

Kamla was elected as the sarpanch of Lakhvad Gram Panchayat in January last year under the Gujarat government’s Samras Yojna where instead of electing, villagers are selecting the sarpanch and other members of the gram panchayat. However, she allegedly started facing harassment at the behest of Prahald who was the Sarpanch of the village before her.

She made a number of complaints to different authorities like the district development officer, state Human Rights Commission and local police. The complaints include evidence to prove that Prahlad had been misusing the old letterheads of the gram panchayat and issuing various certificates to the villagers while forging Kamla’s signature. She also lodged two complaints against Prahald and Ratilal under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

However, on April 3, Ratilal Patel, who was deputy sarpanch in the village when Prahald was sarpanch, lodged a criminal complaint against Kamla, her husband Kachra Makwana, son Bharat, and two friends — Bharat Patel and Ramila Patel — with Mehsana taluka police station.

According to the complaint, the Makwanas wanted to get loan of Rs 1.80 lakh from the Scheduled Caste Development Corporation to buy a rickshaw in 2004. And Ratilal — under the recommendation of Bharat Patel and Ramila Patel — had become a guarantor for the same on the basis of one of his land pieces. He alleges that the Makwanas assured him of paying regular instalments for the loan.

However, the Makwanas alleges Ratilal did not pay the instalments for the loan and in 2013 when he asked them to pay it so that the government dues on his land could be cleared, they allegedly threatened him and did not pay the amount. Ratilal has accused the Makwanas and Patels of breach of trust, criminal intimidation and abetment.

On Tuesday, Sub-Inspector of Mehsana taluka police station, D K Rathod, reportedly asked the five to get their statements recorded in the case and when they went to police, the five were arrested and produced before a magisterial court. Immediately, their advocate, Jayanti Parmar, moved bail petitions. However, Parmar said the petitions were rejected, following which they were sent to Mehsana district jail.

Kamla’s younger son, Manoj (22), and his wife Sonal, are now the only members of the family out. “This entire case has been fabricated to harass my mother as she did not agree to be a puppet in the hands of Prahlad Patel after being elected Sarpanch. The entire state machinery of Mehsana is working against us at the behest of Prahlad who openly boasts closeness to some top politicians in the Gujarat government,” Manoj said.

However, Ratilal denied the allegations and said, “I had mortgaged my land to the Scheduled Caste Development Corporation for this family to buy a rickshaw. They did not pay the instalments of the loan for nine years. And if they do not pay the instalment, it is possible that my land is auctioned by the state government. I asked them repeatedly to pay the amount and when they did not do so, I had to file the complaint.”

The investigation officer in the case, S I Rathod, said the police have acted completely on the merits of the case. Manoj met his mother in jail Wednesday. “She is very disturbed and has decided to resign from the post. She told me that it is better to live a peaceful life than to indulge in public life,” he said.

 

Mod lies EXPOSED #fakencounter-Ishrat Jahan case: Gujarat HC satisfied with CBI probe #goodnews


PTI

Gujarat High Court on Friday expressed satisfaction about the progress made by CBI in the investigation of Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, and ordered it to submit the next progress report by May 9.

CBI, ordered by the HC to take over the probe in December 2011, on Thursday submitted a progress report in a sealed cover.

On Friday, the division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari said the pace and direction of the probe were satisfactory. “It looks like in past two months CBI has made a substantial progress,” the judges said.

At the last hearing in January, when CBI submitted its first report, the court wasn’t much happy and decided to monitor the probe.

Subsequently, CBI arrested four Gujarat police officers: IPS officer Girish Singhal, deputy superintendent of police Tarun Barot, inspector Bharat Patel and retired deputy superintendent of police J.G. Parmar.

Ishrat Jahan, who hailed from Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjadali Rana were killed by the Gujarat police in an encounter on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

During the hearing, the state government’s lawyer raised the issue of sending back Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Satish Verma, who had been asked by the HC to join the CBI probe despite the state government’s objection.

Mr. Verma was a part of the Special Investigation Team constituted by the HC in this case; he was the first to say in his report that Ishrat and others were killed in a fake encounter.

“We need him urgently as he is one of the senior and experienced officer of the state police,” Government Pleader Prakash Jani said. Mr. Verma could be sent back to state service as CBI had now made a substantial progress in probe, he said.

“As per this court’s order dated January 11, 2013, Mr. Verma’s services for this case were allowed only for three months,” he said.

But the bench, while rejecting CBI’s request for continuing Mr. Verma’s deputation for four months, said he can continue to assist CBI till April-end, and by then CBI should get done whatever it wanted him to do for the probe.

“From May 1, 2013 Satish Verma should return to the state government,” the HC said, fixing the next hearing on May 10.

 

#Tata Mundra Project Under Investigation for Social and Environmental Policy Violations


 
Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti

Bhadreshwar, Mundra, Gujarat

___________________________________________________________________

 

Press Statement

New Delhi, August 6, 2012

 

Tata Mundra Project Under Investigation for Social and Environmental Policy Violations;

If Confirmed, Project Could Face Serious Repercussions

 

After a year of preliminary enquiry, and first of its kind in India for any projects, the recourse mechanism of International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) has ordered a full investigation into the serious social and environmental policy violations by the Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (CGPL – Tata Mundra project).  Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti (MASS) welcomes the decision.

 

With this, the first Ultra Mega Power Project in India to get clearance, Tata Mundra, which is running the risk of turning financially non-viable due to the decision of Indonesian government for revising its coal export pricing structure, which effectively doubled prices, is on dock for its poor social and environmental track-record, something which they camouflage behind claims of ‘responsible corporate citizen’. In the case of full investigation confirming the policy breaches, the project could face serious repercussions.

 

The key focus of the investigation, among others, will be on:

 

·         whether the IFC exercised due diligence in reviewing CGPL’s environmental and social assessments

·         whether IFC gave adequate consideration to the cumulative impacts o Adani Power and the construction of the Mundra West Port

·         whether IFC’s assessment of community support for the project was adequate, and

·         whether policies of IFC was correctly applied with regard to the complainants’ seasonal fishing settlements and fish drying areas

 

In June 2011, the people’s movement of fishing communities , MASS lodged a complaint with the CAO, raising the issues of failure to recognize large number of people as affected, loss of livelihood of thousands of fishworkers, pollution and health hazards due to fly ash, colossal destruction of mangroves and violation of environmental clearance.

 

“We are happy that CAO recognized the serious violations and have ordered a full investigation into it. We hope that they will go to the bottom of issues, investigate impartially and stop financing this project which is threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishworkers and the fragile ecology of Kutch”, said Bharat Patel, General Secretary of MASS.

 

While CAO identified key issues for investigation, we are disappointed that they decided not to look into the issues of salt-pan workers and grazers, who are also seriously impacted by the project, citing a technical reason that MASS raised these issues only in the rejoinder to the original complaint. Considering the capacity of local communities, whose access to detailed and timely information is seriously impaired, CAO should have looked into all impacts of the project, irrespective from where the information came in and when. After IFC financing a project, destroying lives of people, the onus of identifying all negative impacts should not be on the affected communities. We hope CAO will look at the issues comprehensively and not in piecemeal.

 

CAO in its report says about IFC being satisfied with the additional clearances the company obtained for changing the closed cycle cooling system into open cycle cooling system, in which the water is released to the sea at higher temperature than normal, which is detrimental to fish and other aquatic life. Any change of technology should have warranted a new Environmental Impact Assessment, including public hearings. We are not aware of any such. We hope CAO will enquire about the process which preceded change of technology.

 

Last month an eminent panel, after an independent fact finding visit to the affected areas and after extensive discussion with the company as well as communities, released its report, confirming serious social and environmental issues, depletion of fish catch since the project was commissioned, possibility of high radiation from fly ash, the company’s failure to conduct a cumulative impact assessment, communities were not adequately consulted and the project has blocked the access to fishing and grazing grounds. The panel recommended to the government to declare a moratorium on all projects in the region and recommended IFC to stop financing the project, until a comprehensive review is conducted.

 

The project is financed by IFC, Asian Development Bank, Korean ExIm Bank, State Bank of India, India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd, and other Indian banks.

 

Contact: Bharat Patel – +91-9426469803

 

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