The Special CBI court on Thursday acquitted DG Vanzara and AK Amin of all the charges in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. Earlier, on April 30 the court had reserved its verdict on the two applications filed by Vanzara and Amin.
Welcoming the court’s decision, DG Vanzara’s lawyer Vinod Gujjar said, “The court’s order establishes that the encounter was genuine.” The two officers Vanzara and Amin had filed a discharge petition in the court after the Gujarat government declined to grant sanctions to the CBI to prosecute the two former police officers.
The Judge of the Special CBI court Justice J K Pandya said that in the absence of the authorisation of prosecution from the government, their discharge appeals are allowed and proceedings against them will be dropped in the case. As per section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the government’s permission is essential for the prosecution of a public servant for an act done as part of the official duty.
However, Ishrat Jahan’s mother joined her counsel Vrinda Grover and opposed the pleas on the basis that there was no need for the CBI to seek sanction for prosecution. Grover said that, “The government refusing to grant sanctions is invalid and has been passed unreasonably, without application of mind.” Grover further argued that the alleged offences carried out by the officers fall outside the scope of their official duty and hence government sanction may not be mandatory for their prosecution.
DG Vanjara and AK Amin were accused of carrying out fake encounter in the outskirts of Ahmedabad city in 2004 in which 4 people including Ishrat Jahan were killed. The Gujarat Police had asserted that Ishrat and other 3 people gunned down in the encounter had links with Terrorists and their plan was to assassinate the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. DG Vanzara and Amin were acquitted last year by a special Mumbai court in the case of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi’s killings.