Ishrat Jahan case: Gujarat top cop Pandey sent to CBI custody

IshratPP Pandey was Joint Commissioner of Police in Ahmedabad when Ishrat and the three others were gunned down on June 15, 2004.

A Special Court on Saturday remanded senior Gujarat IPS officer P P Pandey, a key accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, in CBI custody till August 21.

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The Central agency sought 14-day remand of Pandey for interrogation, but Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) H S Khutwad, presiding over the CBI Court here, granted only four-day custody.

The court accepted Additional DGP's plea that he be questioned by CBI in the presence of his lawyer.

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Pandey had gone underground in April after his name surfaced in the encounter probe and was declared an absconder by the court. He resurfaced after the Supreme Court, and subsequently Gujarat High Court, temporarily gave him protection from arrest before again going underground.

Khutwad had reserved order on CBI plea last Wednesday after defence and prosecution counsels completed arguments.

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CBI lawyer had argued that Pandey's interrogation was required to find out the real identity of two of the encounter victims, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar.

They were with Ishrat Jahan, a Mumbai girl, and her friend Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, the other two victims.

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After the Supreme Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on Monday, Pandey surrendered before the CBI Court the next day and was sent to judicial custody till August 27.

He was Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) in Ahmedabad when Ishrat and the three others were gunned down by Crime Branch sleuths on June 15, 2004.

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