Ishrat killing: CBI denied Singhal’s custody, cop sent to Sabarmati jail

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A special CBI court Friday rejected the application of the Central Bureau of Investigation seeking Gujarat-cadre IPS officer G L Singhal's custody for 14 days in connection with the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

Later, Singhal was sent to the Sabarmati Central Jail. The court observed that the central agency could not present "reasonable" grounds to secure his custody.

"In fact, the present accused is a police officer. And, this court also believes, in such circumstances when there are serious charges against him and as per the charges he should be sent to police remand when the investigation could not be done without his presence. However, the investigating officer has not been able to produce such reasonable grounds," observed Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H S Khutvad while rejecting the CBI's application.

Singhal was arrested by the CBI Thursday and he was produced before the court today. The CBI tendered a remand application while stating that after his arrest, the agency had carried out searches at his residence and office, and recovered Rs 3.61 lakh in cash, six mobile phones, one tablet PC, six pen drives, one laptop and two USB multimedia storage devices. All the recovered materials were seized.

In its remand application, the CBI contended that the complicity and involvement of Singhal was revealed in the offence. "The seizure of huge cash and other incriminating material discloses that the allegations are well-founded and require further detailed investigation," it said.

The CBI counsel argued that the seriousness of the

offence becomes intense when the accused himself is a police officer.

Singhal's lawyer Brijrajsinh Jhala opposed the application saying there was no ground for which Singhal's custody was required by the probe agency. Jhala stated that the cash seized was for purchase of furniture and for the remaining seized material Singhal's custody was not required.

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