Senior IPS officer Geetha Johri and former Gujarat DGP P C Pandey have been summoned by the CBI for questioning in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, amid allegations some police officers tried to influence investigations.
The summons were issued to the two officers even as the CBI grilled former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah inside the Sabarmati Central Jail for the second straight day today in connection with the case.
Sources said Shah, who is a key accused in the sensational case, was not cooperating in investigation despite an assurance of this effect given by his lawyers before the court.
Johri, who was the investigating officer and headed the probe while she was with state CID in the fake encounter involving Sohrabuddin Sheikh and killing of his wife Kausarbi in 2005, was directed on Thursday to appear before the agency by August 10.
Johri is currently posted as Rajkot Police Commissioner. She is in the UK at present and is expected to return on August 6.
The CBI has already questioned Johri twice before, after it began investigation into the encounter case following the Supreme court order in January early this year.
The probe agency had yesterday summoned Pandey and asked him to appear before it on August 11. It is for the first time that Pandey has been called for questioning by CBI.
Pandey was the DGP when the state CID was probing the fake encounter case.
The apex court, while transferring the case to CBI, had minced no words in expressing displeasure at the failure of the state police's Special Investigation Team, headed by Inspector General of Police Johri, to identify the seven Andhra Pradesh police personnel who assisted the local police in the fake encounter.
The Supreme Court had also come down heavily on the Gujarat police for failing to conduct impartial investigations and attempting to "mislead" the apex court by filing conflicting Action Taken Reports (ATRs)in the case.
It had further said that while one of the investigating officers V L Solanki was proceeding in the right direction, Johri had not been carrying out the investigation in the right manner.
The court has said in its January 12 order that Johri had not made any reference to the second report of Solanki, and was not forwarded to this Court.
The court observed that Johri mentioning the criminal background of Sohrabbuddin and the discussion among the accused officers concerning Sohrabbuddin was meant to obfuscate the enquiry.
The Union Government meanwhile chose not to comment on reports of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's name cropping up during interrogation of Shah by CBI.
"The issue is distressing for any democracy... thus one should be extra cautious about what one does or says. It should be seen that we don't overstep the law of the land. Supervision of Supreme Court is the highest... as public figures, we cannot comment in such cases," Union Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters in New Delhi.
The Minority Affairs Minister was reacting to a question on reports of Modi's name cropping up during Shah's questioning.
Asked if Modi should also be questioned as he was the Home Minister when the fake encounter took place, Rajiv Shukla, AICC co-ordinator for Gujarat, said, "CBI is carrying out an in-depth investigation in the case and you should wait for the inquiry to be completed."