Gujarat's additional DGP PP Pandey faces imminent arrest in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case as the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed his plea for quashing of FIR and protection against an NBW issued against him by a CBI court.
While dismissing Pandey’s petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution (which enables a person to directly approach the apex court for protection of fundamental rights), the bench, however, gave him liberty to go to the state high court.
A special CBI court in Gujarat had issued a non-bailable warrant of arrest against Pandey on May 2 for failing to respond to the summons of the probe agency.
Pandey, a 1982-batch IPS officer, was made an accused in the case for providing "so-called crucial intelligence inputs" to fellow policemen that Ishrat and three others were LeT operatives and were on a mission to assassinate chief minister Narendra Modi.
The IPS officer claimed before the SC that he was not involved in any way in the case and that he had just conveyed the information received from the intelligence bureau to the crime branch officials.
A bench of justice Gyan Sudha Misra and justice Madan B Lokur told senior advocate Sekhar Naphade, representing Pandey, that it cannot entertain the plea for quashing of the FIR in a petition under Article 32. It should have been first filed before the HC.
Naphade contended the HC order to Special Investigation Team (SIT) to register the second FIR in the case was “illegal" and “unheard of".
On behalf of the CBI, additional solicitor general Indira Jaising said Pandey was an absconding officer and the court should not entertain his plea.
The SIT lodged an FIR against Pandey and others on December 16, 2011 following directions from the HC on two petitions filed by the mother and father of victims Ishrat and Javed Shaikh respectively.