sns & pti
NEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, 14 JUNE: Under pressure from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Union Home Ministry, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seems to have dropped the idea of arresting the IB special director, Mr Rajinder Kumar, in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
Mr Kumar, who has already been grilled by the CBI, was to be interrogated again today. Now he will be interrogated next week for his alleged role in the Ishrat case.
According to sources, the CBI has deferred its decision to arrest Mr Kumar, at least till he retires next month, as arresting a serving IB special director might demoralise the force.
The home ministry has already advised the CBI to defuse the situation in consultation with the IB. The IB director and the CBI chief discussed the matter with the top brass of the home ministry.
While the CBI says it has sufficient evidence against Mr Rajinder Kumar in the Ishrat case, the IB maintains that all the intelligence inputs given to the Gujarat Police were genuine and based on human and technical intelligence.
“IB has already submitted all relevant intelligence inputs which it received and gave it to Gujarat Police… this would suffice to suggest that there was no ill intention on the part of the IB officer,” said a senior officer of the intelligence agency.
Mr Kumar was posted as IB joint director in Gujarat when the IB sent an input to the state government about an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiyyabba plot to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Ishrat and three others were killed by the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch in an alleged fake encounter on 15 June 2004.
The CBI, which is probing the Ishrat fake encounter case, claimed that it has adequate material to prove Kumar’s role in the conspiracy leading to the alleged fake encounter. It alleged Kumar was very close to the Modi government.
The CBI took over the Ishrat Jahan probe on the instruction of Gujarat High Court.
HC raps CBI, tells it to focus on encounter angle
Gujarat High Court today rapped the CBI for delay in filing its charge-sheet in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, asking it to ascertain the genuineness of the encounter instead of focusing on IB inputs and trying to figure out whether those killed were terrorists or not.
“Prime facie, we find that instead of investigating the genuineness of the encounter, the CBI has focused more on the genuineness of the inputs provided by the IB,” a division Bench of Mr Justices Jayant Patel and Ms Abhilasha Kumari observed.
“It seems that in the past one month you were more interested in figuring out whether the killed were terrorists or not but the court is not concerned about that. In any case they should not have been liquidated,” the court observed.
“You have been assigned responsibility to ascertain whether they were killed in a genuine encounter or a fake one and whether they were in prior custody of Gujarat police or not,” the court said.
The court asked the CBI to explain why it failed to file the charge-sheet within 90 days of the arrest of the accused, to which the CBI responded that it is a very large case of conspiracy and investigation has led them from one point to another which has caused the delay.
The delay in filing the charge-sheet has resulted in five accused police officers, including IPS officer G L Singhal securing bail.
The CBI told the court that it will file the charge-sheet in the case by the first week of July.