A special CBI court here is likely to pronounce its order on January 23 on a plea by two Intelligence Bureau officials challenging the summons issued to them by a magistrate in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case.
Rajeev Wankhede and T S Mittal, assistant central intelligence officers at the time of the alleged fake encounter, have challenged the summons issued by a metropolitan magistrate's court here.
CBI judge J K Pandya reserved his order on their pleas till January 23.
The lower court issued the summons to them and two others -- Central IB's special director Rajinder Kumar and officer M S Sinha -- on the basis of a supplementary charge sheet filed against them by the CBI in the Ishrat case.
The CBI has charged them with murder, criminal conspiracy, illegal detention and kidnapping.
The lawyers of Wankhede and Mittal argued today that the summons was not maintainable, as the court has not taken cognisance of the CBI charge sheet.
No summons can be issued as the Union government has not given sanction for their prosecution as required under the Code of Criminal Procedure, the lawyers said.
The CBI, however, contended that a court can use its discretion to issue a summons even when the competent authority hasn't given sanction.
The magistrate last month issued summons to the four IB officials after the CBI informed the court about denial of sanction by the Union government.
Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old college girl from Mumbra near Mumbai, her friend Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh, Amzad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Ahmedabad police on the outskirts of the city in June 2004. The police had then claimed that they were terrorists affiliated to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The first charge sheet filed by the CBI named seven Gujarat policemen, including IPS officers P P Pandey, D G Vanzara and G L Singhal, for carrying out a fake encounter. All of them are out on bail.