New Delhi, 8 Aug (PTI): The Supreme Court today refused to grant interim protection to senior IPS officer P P Pandey from being arrested by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case but agreed to hear his plea on August 12.
A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Desai agreed to hear his appeal against Gujarat High Court order rejecting his anticipatory bail plea.
Senior Advocate Jaspal Singh, appearing for Pandey, urged the court to grant him protection till Monday but the bench turned down his request saying that it will hear the matter on August 12.
The High Court had yesterday declined to give further protection to Pandey from arrest by CBI. The trial court had also rejected his anticipatory bail plea on the ground that probe in the case is pending and is at a crucial juncture.
Yesterday, the trial court had also rejected his plea for exemption from personal appearance and had issued non-bailable warrant against him after he failed to appear before it.
Pandey, who was declared absconder, had appeared before the special CBI court in Ahmedabad on July 29 on the direction of the apex court.
The apex court had on July 26 directed Additional DGP Pandey, a 1982-batch IPS officer, to appear before the trial court on July 29 and had restrained the CBI from arresting him till then.
The High Court had on July 1 dismissed Pandey’s plea for quashing of FIR against him in the fake encounter case.
The High Court, while rejecting Pandey’s plea, had also declared him an absconder in the 2004 fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others.
Pandey, as the 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 an encounter allegedly with Gujarat Police on the city outskirts on June 15, 2004.
Police had then claimed the four were terrorists on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
However, according to the CBI’s charge sheet filed last month, the encounter, a joint operation by Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau, was stage-managed.
Seven Gujarat policemen, including Pandey, have been named as accused and charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, among others.