HC rejects his plea, Satish Verma to face probe for Porbandar deaths 15 years ago

In a blow to senior IPS officer Satish Verma who had assisted the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan encounter probe, the Gujarat High Court on Friday dismissed his petition seeking to recall its previous order of a probe into two cases of alleged encounter killings and one of custodial death in Porbandar in 1997-98, when the officer was posted there as superintendent of police.

Rejecting Verma's petition, a single-judge bench of Justice Anant Dave also ordered the state government to submit a probe report in this regard by October 22.

The case dates back to 1997-98, when a voluntary organisation, Action Committee for Prevention of Police Atrocities, filed a PIL in the HC alleging that three people were killed under Verma's watch. A division bench ordered the then Special IG of CID (Crime) to investigate the alleged killings.

The three deceased were identified as Gagan Shial, Aher Ranmal Ram and Aher Narayan Jesti Bandhiya.

In 2012, Jasu Gagan Shial's brother, Hiralal, moved a petition before HC stating that nothing had happened after its 1998 order and sought fresh directions. Based on Hiralal Shial's petition, Justice Anant Dave, on April 18, 2012, ordered the additional director general of police (law & order) to carry out an investigation into the three alleged killings.

Challenging the HC order, Verma moved the Supreme Court contending that the then special IG of CID (Crime), Hiralal, had conducted an inquiry into the matter and given him a clean chit. Verma also produced a copy of the probe report with an authentication from Hiralal himself, but the Gujarat government questioned its authenticity before the SC.

Eventually, the SC dismissed Verma's petition while refusing to intervene with the HC order of an investigation into the alleged killings. The apex court also gave Verma liberty to approach the HC with the inquiry report he was having.

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