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Ishrat case: Guj HC judge recuses to hear accused cop's plea

Ishrat case: Guj HC judge recuses to hear accused cops plea

Ahmedabad: A Gujarat High Court judge Monday recused himself from hearing the petition filed by Addl DGP P P Pandey seeking the quashing of an FIR filed against him by CBI in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter killing case.

Justice S R Brahmabhatt today decided not to hear the petition filed by Pandey on Friday last on the grounds that in the past, as a lawyer, he had represented Gujarat IPS officer D G Vanzara, who is also an accused in the case.

Vanzara, one of the main accused in the 2006 encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, was arrested by CBI in Ishrat case on June 4 and has been lodged in Sabarmati central jail here since then.

The FIR, filed by CBI in Ishrat case, alleges that Pandey provided the "so-called crucial intelligence inputs" to the fellow officers which said that Ishrat, a college student, and three others were LeT operatives and were on a mission to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Pandey, as the Joint Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, was heading the crime branch when Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in the encounter with the Gujarat police on the outskirts of city on June 15, 2004.

Pruthvi Pal Pandey, a 1982-batch IPS officer, who was declared an absconder by the CBI court here on June 21, has claimed in his petition, filed through advocate Manav Mehta, that Rana, Shaikh and Johar were "terrorists" and killed in a "genuine encounter" and hence he should not be made an accused.

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