HC to monitor CBI investigations in Ishrat case

Granting additional time to CBI for investigating the Ishrat Jehan fake encounter case of 2004, the Gujarat High Court today said it would now monitor the probe.

The court has asked the agency to submit a progress report by March 15.

A division bench of justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari observed that progress in investigation of the Ishrat case was only 'to the extent of 30-40 per cent'.

"Looking at the case diaries submitted along with the report, it seems that investigation has not reached the crucial stage... We would require to monitor the investigation," the bench said.

CBI, which was directed to probe the case by the high court on December 1, 2011 had filed an application seeking direction to the Gujarat government to extend the services of IPS officer Satish Verma for six more months.

While hearing the application on December 10, the court had asked the agency to submit a progress report in investigation.

Even when CBI submitted its report on December 27, the court had expressed its disappointment.

"After going through the status report submitted before us, prima facie it looks like nothing substantial has been done by CBI," the court had observed and directed the agency to prepare a detailed and datewise report, which was submitted yesterday.

Mumbai girl Ishrat Jehan(19), Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead by Ahmedabad city crime branch officers between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar on June 15, 2004.

Earlier SIT, formed by the high court, had concluded that the encounter was staged, and death of the four had taken place before the encounter.

Gujarat police, at that time, had claimed that all the four were Laskar-e-Taiba operatives and had entered the city to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

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