In a major blow to absconding Additional Director General of Police PP Pandey, the Gujarat High Court on Monday dismissed his petition seeking quashing of a complaint against him in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
Justice Harsha Devani dismissed Pandey's prayer, saying he an absconder despite being a top police officer of additional DGP rank, his plea should not be entertained.
The court also said a cognizable offence is made out in the FIR and adequate proof exists as three out of four accused persons were in prior custody of police.
The court also noted that since the CBI is in the last stage of filing the charge sheet the time is not appropriate for quashing the complaint.
Pandey, a 1982 batch IPS officer who was declared an absconder by the CBI court here on June 21, had claimed in his petition that he had merely passed on the intelligence inputs that two of the four people killed in the encounter were "terrorists" and planning to enter the city to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Countering Pandey's argument that his role in the case was limited to providing intelligence inputs, Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising had told the court that Pandey was the "mastermind" behind the killing of four people, including Ishrat.
"He is the mastermind behind the whole encounter. He was a conduit. He received inputs, passed it to his subordinates and arranged everything. In fact, he was in total control of the operation. He actually acted as Rambo," she had alleged.
The FIR, filed by the CBI, alleges that Pandey provided the "so-called crucial intelligence inputs" to his fellow officers which said that Ishrat, a college student from Mumbra near Mumbai, and three others were LeT operatives and were on a mission to assassinate Modi.
Pandey, as Joint Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, was heading the Crime Branch when Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in the alleged encounter near here on June 15, 2004.