Ishrat Jahan shootout: SC to hear Pandey's plea for bail

New Delhi, Aug 8 : The Supreme Court will on Monday hear a plea by Gujarat Additional Director General of Police P.P. Pandey seeking anticipatory bail and to restrain the CBI from arresting him in the Ishrat Jahan staged shootout case.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said the matter will be heard Monday after Pandey's counsel made a mention of his petition.

Pandey has challenged the Aug 7 Gujarat High Court order rejecting his anticipatory bail plea and his plea against being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan and her three alleged associates Pranesh Gopinath Pilai, Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar were killed by Gujarat Police in a staged shootout June 15, 2004. Gujarat police had described them as Pakistani Fidayeens who came from Jammu and Kashmir to assassinate the Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Pandey had moved the Gujarat High court challenging the special CBI court that had Tuesday rejected his plea for anticipatory bail.

The Special CBI court Aug 6, while rejecting Pandey's plea for anticipatory bail had expressed its apprehension that Pandey might tamper with witnesses and allegations against him were of serious nature.

An Ahmedabad magistrate court had issued non-bailable warrants against Pandey May 2 and he went underground to evade arrest. He was later pronounced as absconder.

Pandey was joint commissioner of police in Ahmedabad heading the Crime Branch when Ishrat Jahan and her three associates were eliminated in the staged shootout.

Initially the investigation into the killing was carried out by the Gujarat police which had filed a closure report.

On the plea by Ishrat Jahaan's mother Shamima Kausar, Gujarat High court entrusted investigation to Special Investigation Team. However, on another plea by Gopinath Pillai - father of Javed @ Pranesh Gopinath Pilai - High court asked the CBI to take over the investigation.

--IANS (Posted on 08-08-2013)

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