The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea of senior Gujarat IPS officer P P Pandey, an absconder in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, challenging CBI probe in the case.
The apex court did not find fault with the Gujarat High Court order of December 1, 2011 handing over the probe to the CBI from Special Investigating Team (SIT) which had concluded that Ishrat and three others were killed in a fake encounter.
A bench comprising justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Kurian Joseph said it did not find substance with the submissions of Pandey's counsel that High Court has not given reasons for handing over the probe to the CBI.
Further, the bench said Pandey's plea challenging the High Court order was "too late" as he moved the apex court after more than two years.
"You should have approached the court within a reasonable time. Much water has flown since the order was passed," the bench said, adding, "It is too late and you should have challenged the order on day one".
The bench said the police officer, who was named in the second FIR lodged by the CBI on High Court order, preferred not to get himself impleaded as a party in the petition filed by family members of Ishrat and Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, who was also killed in the fake encounter for which they had sought CBI probe.
The bench was of the view that Pandey should have contested his case in the High Court where the pleas of victims' family were pending.
It said it is a common knowledge that the party affected with alleged shoddy investigation considered it appropriate to approach court for CBI probe.
The Bench said there are instances when investigations in several cases have been handed over to the CBI from the state police.
Pandey apprached the apex court after the High Court dismissed his plea and also declared him an absconder in the Ishrat case.
Pandey, as the Joint Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad,was heading the Crime Branch when Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged encounter with Gujarat Police on the city outskirts on June 15, 2004.
Pandey, a 1982-batch IPS officer, who was declared an absconder by the CBI court here on June 21, has claimed in his petition that he had merely passed on the intelligence input that Rana, Shaikh and Johar were terrorists and were planning to enter the city to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.