The Gujarat High Court on Friday adjourned the hearing in the Ishrat Jahan staged shoot-out case to Sep 9 with the Supreme Court still considering the matter and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) conveying its inability to probe the case.
A division bench of judges Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari adjourned the hearing after the Supreme Court appointed SIT headed by R.K. Raghavan, a former CBI director, conveying in writing its inability to take up the case.
The High Court had Aug 23, while hearing a review petition filed in the case, asked the advocate general to verify and bring on record by Aug 31 whether or not the SIT was inclined to take up the case.
The Supreme Court had Aug 27 restrained the Gujarat government from entrusting the Ishrat Jahan case to the SIT that is probing the 2001 post-Godhra communal riots in the state.
A bench headed by judge B. Sudershan Reddy passed the order on an application by advocate Brinda Grover, appearing for Shamina Kausar, the mother of Ishrat Jahan, challenging the Gujarat High Court's decision to entrust the case to the SIT.
The high court had, on an earlier plea by Kausar, decided to entrust the case to the SIT on the basis of the findings of magistrate SP Tamang that it was a fake shootout and cold-blooded murder. Ishrat's family is, however, opposed to a probe by the SIT and wants the case to be investigated by the CBI on the lines of the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake shootout.
Kausar and Gopinath Pillai, the father of Pranesh alias Javed Pillai, one of those killed along with Ishrat and two others in 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad , have been fighting a protracted legal battle for justice.
The police claim that Ishrat and Pranesh were Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives involved in a plot to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi while the parents assert that it was a staged shootout carried out by then deputy inspector general of police D.G. Vanzara on the pattern of the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout.
Vanzara, along with two other Indian Police Service officers, is already behind bars in connection with the killing of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauserbi.