Special court to deliver order on Amin, Vanzara’s pleas in Ishrat Jahan case on April 29

Written by Sabrang India | Published on: April 17, 2019
On Monday, April 15, a special CBI court finished hearing arguments on applications submitted by  former police officials DG Vanzara and NK Amin, who have been accused in the Ishrat Jahan case, seeking that charges against them be abandoned because the Gujarat government did not grant sanction to prosecute them. The court will likely deliver an order on Monday, April 29

Ishrat jahan

On Monday, a lawyer for Shamima Kauser, Ishrat Jahan’s mother, also filed a written submission objecting to charges against Amin being dropped. Previously, advocate Vrinda Grover had argued in the court on behalf of Kauser, on Tuesday, April 9. The written objection echoes Grover’s arguments. She had said that "Ishrat Jahan, her friend Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, and two alleged Pakistani nationals were first 'abducted, confined and then murdered which have no nexus with the discharge of the official duty of the accused,’" the Deccan Herald reported

The written objection says that per "overwhelming ocular, documentary, scientific and other material evidence in the chargesheet," Amin "committed crimes interalia of abduction, illegal confinement, murder, destruction of evidence and use of illegal arms; all of which clearly fall outside of and have no nexus with the discharge of official duty". 

Per Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), prior sanction from the government is required to prosecute government officials. However, the written objection observes that "No sanction under S.197 CrPC is required for prosecution in this case, as it pertains to criminal offences committed by A-5 in conspiracy with others, which fall outside the scope of their official duty and do not even have a remote connection with the official duties of a police officer." In this instance, A-5 refers to NK Amin. 

Moreover, the Deccan Herald noted that the CBI had, at the beginning of the case, taken the stance that sanction was not required, but still wrote to the Gujarat government seeking its opinion; the government denied sanction, and Amin and Vanzara sought that charges be dropped based on this decision. The written objection notes that Section 197 "does not get automatically invoked in all cases of crimes committed by public servants. It is required to be established that the act concerned has some reasonable nexus with discharge of official duty." 

The written submission also contends that the Gujarat government’s refusal to grant sanction "amounts to an interference with the administration of justice," saying, "That the Order of the State of Gujarat refusing sanction to prosecute N.K.Amin is prima facie malafide and must be viewed in the context that the State of Gujarat has from the very beginning made all efforts to shield the police officers from being held accountable. This was one of the reasons that the investigation was assigned to the CBI on the directions of a Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court."

Ishrat Jahan, 19, from Mumbra, and three others were killed in an alleged fake encounter by members of the Gujarat Police outside Ahmedabad in June 2004. The police had claimed that the four were plotting to kill then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Before the encounter, Shamima Kausar had then filed a complaint alleging that the Gujarat Police had abducted her daughter and the others. The CBI had charged seven officers of the Gujarat Police, including Amin and Vanzara. 

The written submission may be read here: