Gujarat high court on Friday rapped the CBI for delay in filing its chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, asking it to ascertain the genuineness of the encounter instead of focusing on IB 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 Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari observed.
"It seems that in past one month you were more interested in figuring out whether the killed people 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 chargesheet 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 chargesheet has resulted in five accused police officers including IPS GL Singhal securing bail. The CBI told the court that it will file the charge sheet in the case by first week of July. However, 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 DG Vanzara.