Supreme Court agrees to hear a petition to closure of all criminal proceedings against Gujarat police on FAKE encounters

NEW DELHI(TH): The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider a petition seeking closure of all criminal proceedings against Gujarat police officers in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan ‘fake’ encounter case on the basis of a testimony given by 26/11 Mumbai attack accused David Headley that Ishrat Jahan and her three companions were Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives on a mission to assassinate the then chief minister Narendra Modi.

Former Gujarat DIG Vanzara addresses a press conference, after the testimony of jailed LET operative David Headley over Ishrat Jahan episode, in Mumbai. File photo: Prashant Nakwe

In an urgent mentioning, a Bench of Chief Justices of India T.S.Thakur and Justice U.U. Lalit told advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, who filed the petition, that “it will be listed” in due course for hearing.

The signal to hear this petition came even as the Ministry of Home Affairs agreed to dig up files on the 2004 case to verify former Home Secretary G.K. Pillai’s reported claims of political meddling in it.

Mr. Sharma’s petition sought the Supreme Court to initiate “suo motu perjury/contempt of court proceeding against the then [Union] Home Minister and CBI director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and Gujarat High Court for filing a false affidavit on the facts about Ishrat Jahan.”

Mr. Pillai had said that an affidavit submitted in the Gujarat High Court in 2009 about LeT links of Ishrat Jahan and her accomplices was changed at the “political level.”

The then UPA government had submitted two affidavits — one that the four, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter, were terrorists and the second saying there was no conclusive evidence — within two months in 2009.

In his petition, Mr. Sharma contended that the “judicial facts and evidence” supplied by Headley via video conference in the 26/11 special court at Mumbai on February 11 proved that the four persons, including Ishrat, killed by Gujarat Police in an encounter on June 15, 2004 were members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist organisation.

“The said facts are now undisputed/judicial facts. It is a judicial fact that all four persons including of Muslim girl/lady Ishrat Jahan killed by the Gujarat state police are terrorists… there is no prosecution under the Constitution as well as any Indian law for killing a terrorist,” the petition said.

Gujarat Police personnel, including the then DIG D G Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.

It said that Article 21 of the Constitution – protection of life and personal liberty – does not extend to “terrorists”.

The petition asked the Supreme Court to issue a “proper writ direction declaring that killing a terrorist is not an offence under the Indian law.”

It also sought the Supreme Court to direct that “proper compensation be provided to the state police personnel in the interest of justice.”



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.Read more

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. Read more

January 28, 2011:

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

November 2011:

SIT tells court the encounter was staged

December 2011:

High Court orders CBI probe.Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

August 2013:

SC denies senior bail to Pandey. Read more

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.Read more

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