Ishrat case: SIT members submit individual reports to HC
The three members of the Special Investigation Team probing the 2004 police encounter of Mumbai teenager Ishrat Jahan and three others on Wednesday submitted individual reports to the Gujarat high court explaining their roles in investigation of the case.
Reports were submitted by SIT chief Karnal Singh and members Mohan Jha and Satish Verma, all IPS officers, following orders issued by a division bench of justice Jayant Patel and justice Abhilasha Kumari on April 8.
The hearing in the case is scheduled for on Thursday. During the hearing early this month, the HC had expressed dissatisfaction over the progress report submitted by SIT.
"It appears from the report that the investigation by the SIT is not very satisfactory. If the progress is to be considered in toto, we find it is not up to the expectation of the court," the bench had observed on April 8.
With a view to ensure that the investigation is expedited and properly channelled to unearth the truth at the earliest, the court directed that "each member of SIT shall submit separate reports about the contribution made by him in the functioning of SIT".
Since the report of the SIT was not found to be satisfactory, the court had sought a fresh report from the agency incorporating the gist of the investigation after including the statement of key witnesses on the aspects of the genuineness of the encounter or otherwise.
Ishrat (19), a college girl, along with Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed near here on June 15, 2004 in a police encounter.
After the encounter, city Crime Branch had claimed the deceased were members of LeT and were on a mission to kill Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
Gujarat Police had further claimed that the shootout was carried out after receiving intelligence inputs from the Central agencies.
The high court had formed an SIT last September to probe the encounter, which was dubbed as "fake" by the family members of the deceased.
In January, the court had directed the SIT to submit its progress report every two month and update it about the status of investigation. The court had also appointed Y S Lakhani as amicus curie in the case.