Ahmedabad, Nov 25: A local court today issued notice to CBI, the probing agency in Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, and sought its reply with regard to bail plea of suspended Additional Director General of Police Pruthvi Pal Pandey.
Special CBI Court Judge K R Upadhyaya issued the notice to CBI and posted the matter for hearing on December 12. Pandey, who is behind bars since August last year, has sought regular bail in the fake encounter stating that CBI had not produced any substantial evidence against him.
Pandey, a 1982-batch IPS officer, was the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) in Ahmedabad when Ishrat, a Mumbai-based student, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were gunned down by Crime Branch sleuths on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of the city.
Seven Gujarat policemen, including Pandey, were named as accused and charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, among others by CBI. The CBI had in its charge sheet filed on July 3, 2013, said that the encounter was "fake" and a joint operation between Gujarat police and Intelligence bureau. According to the charge sheet, Pandey was very much a part of the larger conspiracy of killing four people in 2004.
The CBI also claimed that the accused police officer knew about the source of pistol, AK-56 assault rifle and other weapons and ammunition which were 'planted' on the bodies of the deceased at the scene of encounter. Pandey was arrested by CBI following his surrender in August 2013, and since then he is lodged in Sabarmati jail.