Four months after the CBI brought charges of conspiracy against former senior Intelligence Bureau official Rajinder Kumar in the alleged Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, its director Ranjit Sinha and his deputy were at a party thrown by the ex-sleuth, HT has learnt.
Sinha and his deputy Anil Sinha’s presence at a function to celebrate Kumar’s son’s wedding showed collusion between the prosecuting agency and the accused, Vrinda Grover, the lawyer for Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser, alleged.
“Ranjit Sinha by socialising with Kumar, whom the probe agency has charged in the Ishrat case with his apparent approval, has compromised the office of the CBI director,” Grover told HT. “He should be immediately removed.”
Ranjit Sinha declined comment, saying it was a private matter. “I don’t want to talk to you,” was Kumar’s response.
The trial is yet to begin in the sensational case as the home ministry is still to give the go-ahead to the CBI to prosecute Kumar, who retired from service last year.
The party was held on June 7 at an officers’ mess near the airport in the Capital, sources told HT. Many senior retired and serving government officials were present, sources who attended the function told HT.
The CBI chief’s deputy and agency’s special director Anil Sinha confirmed he was at the party but denied his presence amounted to a conflict of interest. The probe against Kumar has been completed, Sinha said.
The agency, Sinha said, had sent all the documents to the home ministry for the permission to prosecute Kumar.
“The CBI is not only an investigating agency but also a prosecuting agency and the trial in the case is yet to start,” Grover countered.
There was little hope for justice for Jahan as the CBI had compromised its institutional integrity, she said.
Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan, 19, and three others were killed allegedly in a staged gunfight on June 15, 2004 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The police claimed the four were Lashkar terrorists out to kill Narendra Modi, the then CM.
The encounter was fake and some 12 Gujarat Police officials planned and carried out the murders with four IB officials, including Rajinder Kumar, the CBI told the court in a February 7 charge sheet.
But the court hasn’t taken note of the charges against Kumar and three IB officials in the absence of the mandatory government sanction.
The CBI and home ministry, which administers IB, disagree over the documents required for the Centre’s go-ahead. The CBI has refused to share the case dairy with the ministry, which insists it cannot take a decision with going through it.