The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a public interest litigation petition seeking quashing of criminal prosecution, suspension and other action taken against Gujarat police in the 2004 alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in view of the recent testimony of jailed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley.
“What is the purpose of Article 32. You cannot file such a case under it. If you wish, you can go to the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution,” a Bench, comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy. said minutes after lawyer M L Sharma started arguments in the case.
However, the Bench clarified that it was not dismissing the petition on merits when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a clarification on the issue.
“Any person having locus standi can approach the appropriate authority,” the Bench said, paving the way for the affected Gujarat policemen, including then DIG D G Vanzara, to move the court for their exoneration in the politically sensitive case.
The plea seeking quashing of action taken against Gujarat police refers to the statement of Headley,the Pakistani-American terrorist, recorded before a Mumbai court that Jahan was a LeT operative.
Gujarat police personnel, including Mr. Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.
The plea, which cited the recent statements recorded by Headley, who allegedly conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by the Gujarat police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.
“The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat police, were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.
The Congress Party on Friday passed the buck with regard to the Ishrat Jahan encounter case to officers were involved in the case did not show any decent previously and now are changing their takes.
“The incident happened twelve years back and there was no descent from any of the bureaucrats at that point of the time when the first affidavit was filed. All these controversies arose when the former home secretary made a statement which he did not do previously,” said Congress leader PC Chacko.
“Mr. G.K Pillai who was the home secretary at that time okayed the file, the file had passed through Mr. G.K pillai three times and he did not press his decent on the file. The affidavit at that time was prepared after the due process of formalities. Pillai’s descending route was not there and even no officer from the department raised any query,” he added.