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Gujarat Govt Sanction Not Needed to Prosecute Cops: Ishrat Jahan’s Mother to CBI Court

Gujarat govt's refusal to grant sanction to prosecute retd. cops DG Vanzara & NK Amin in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case has been challenged.

Ahmedabad: Challenging the Gujarat government’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute retired police officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, her mother’s lawyer argued Tuesday that such a sanction was not necessary.

After the Central Bureau of Investigation told the court recently that the Gujarat government has not given its sanction to prosecute them, Vanzara and Amin moved the court, seeking that the proceedings against them be dropped.

Ishrat Jahan’s mother Shamima Kauser has opposed their application.

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Under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the government’s sanction is necessary for the prosecution of a public servant for an act done as part of official duty.

However, Kauser’s lawyer Vrinda Grover argued that section 197 does not apply here as the two officers are accused of “abducting…and killing a young girl” which cannot be termed as a part of “discharging of official duty”.

An extra-judicial killing (a fake encounter) does not fall in the category of “official duty”, and the court should go ahead with the trial despite the Gujarat government’s refusal to give sanction, she said.

The CBI lawyer reiterated its stand that the sanction is not needed in this case, and the court can take a decision “as per the law”.

Judge J K Pandya adjourned the hearing to April 16 when Vanzara and Amin would put forward their arguments.

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Ishrat, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by Gujarat police in an alleged fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The police had claimed that they had links with terrorists.

The charge sheet filed by the CBI names several police officers, including Vanzara and Amin.

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