The Gujarat government on Monday told the Supreme Court that Director General of Police P P Pandey’s request to step down will be accepted immediately after the apex court allowed the state to accept Pandey's offer of relinquishing his office forthwith.
A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud were also told that the notification of three months extension granted to him till 30 April too would be resolved. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, said the state government would accept Pandey's offer to step down after the bench asked him to either make a statement that Pandey would go forthwith or they would pass an order.
Recording the submission of Mehta that the top police officer has himself written a letter expressing willingness to step down forthwith if the government so desired, the bench said, "In view of determination of the state government, we are of the view that the main petition has been rendered infructous."
Pandey, who is one of the accused in the killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others, is on an extension till 30 April this year.
Initially asking the court to let Pandey complete his extended term and retire gracefully, Mehta told the court that he (Pandey) was in no position to influence the case as charges had not been framed.
Pandey's appointment and extension as DGP and IGP were challenged through a PIL.
The apex court had on 31 March asked Gujarat government to file its response to a plea against promotion and three-month extension to Pandey, who is out on bail in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
After being released on bail, Pandey was taken back into service in February 2015 and appointed the Director of the state's Anti-Corruption Bureau. On 16 April last year, Pandey was appointed the in-charge DGP of Gujarat.
The Centre's Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had granted the three-month extension to Pandey, who was to retire on 31 January. Pandey was heading the state crime branch when Ishrat, a 19-year-old girl based in Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged encounter with the police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June, 2004.
Gujarat police had claimed they had terror links and had plotted to kill the then Chief Minister, Narendra Modi. An SIT constituted by the high court to investigate the case had concluded that it was a fake encounter, following which the HC had transferred the case to the CBI.