SC refuses to entertain PIL for dropping action against Gujarat Police in Fake encounters

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a public interest litigation seeking quashing of criminal prosecution, suspension and other action taken against Gujarat cops in the 2004 alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in view of recent testimony of jailed LeT operative David Headley.

“What is the purpose of Article 32. You cannot file such a case under it. If you wish, you can go to the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said minutes after lawyer M L Sharma started arguments in the case.

However, the bench clarified that it was not dismissing the petition on merits when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a clarification on this issue.

“Any person having locus can approach the appropriate authority,” the bench said paving way for the affected Gujarat policemen including then DIG D G Vanzara to move the court for their exoneration in the politically sensitive case.

The plea seeking quashing of action taken against Gujarat cops refers to the statement of Headley,the Pakistani-American terrorist, recorded before a Mumbai court that Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.

Gujarat Police personnel, including ex-cop Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.

The plea, which cited the recent statements recorded by Headley, who allegedly conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by Gujarat Police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.

“The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat Police, were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.

The plea had sought a direction to close criminal proceedings and action taken in FIRs lodged by CBI against the Gujarat Police personnel and others, saying it was unconstitutional within the judicial facts and evidences of Headley.

It had also sought a direction from the court declaring that killing of a terrorist is not an offence under Indian law and proper compensation be paid to the state police personnel in the interest of justice.

It also wanted initiation of suo motu perjury/contempt proceedings against the then Home Minister and CBI Director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court and for filing a false affidavit pertaining to facts about the case.



June 15, 2004:

Ishrat Jahan and three others killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Police claim they were Lashkar members planning to kill Narendra Modi.


September 2009:

Ahmedabad judge S.P. Tamang terms encounter ‘fake’. Mr. Tamang’s report said the Crime Branch police “kidnapped” Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004 and brought them to Ahmedabad. The four were killed on the night of June 14 in police custody, but the police claimed that an “encounter” took place the next morning on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. That rigor mortis set in between 11 p.m. and midnight the previous night clearly pointed to the fact that the police pumped bullets into Ishrat’s lifeless body to substantiate the encounter theory.


September 2010:

The Gujarat High Court constituted a new three-member Special Investigation Team for a fresh probe into the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004. 


January 28, 2011:

SIT member Satish Varma files affidavit stating it was a ‘fake’ encounter. 



November 2011:

SIT tells court the encounter was staged


December 2011:

High Court orders CBI probe.


July 2013:

The CBI’s first charge sheet in the encounter case stated that the unlawful killing was a joint operation of the Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau and named seven Gujarat police officials as the accused. 


July 2013:

CBI court grants P.P.Pandey (an accused in the case) anticipatory bail for 48 hours after a hearing that lasted for over four hours. 


August 2013:

SC denies senior bail to Pandey. 


October 2013:

CBI quizzes BJP leader Amit Shah in connection with ‘fake’ encounters. Jailed IPS officer D.G. Vanzara who was later held in the Ishrat Jahan case, had alleged in his resignation letter that the government closely monitored every police action involving ‘terrorists’ during his tenure.


March 2014:

A special Central Bureau of Investigation court here issued notices to Amit Shah in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. Read more


May 2014:

A Gujarat CBI court dismissed a plea seeking arraignment of Amit Shah and ex-police commissioner of Ahmedabad K.R. Kaushik as accused in the case. The plea was filed by Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh who was among the four victims.Read more


May 2014:

CBI gives a clean chit to Amit Shah. “There is no sufficient evidence against him. Hence CBI has not chargesheeted him,” CBI PI Vishwas Kumar Meena said in an affidavit filed before the special CBI court in Ahmedabad.Read more

February 2015:

Gujarat revokes suspension of P.P.Pandey.

February 2015:

DG Vanzara walks out of the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad eight years after he was jailed in connection with a series of encounter cases in Gujarat.Read more


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