For the past few months, we have been witnessing one police officer after another, jailed for fake encounters in Gujarat, being released on bail, or reinstated by the Gujarat government. What is even more startling is the position that investigating agency, the CBI, has been taking in the courts. When the Bombay High court granted bail to N.K. Amin in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in March 2013, the CBI contested it and filed a cancellation of bail petition before the Supreme Court.
When this cancellation petition was listed in the Supreme Court on 11th November 2014, former BJP Spokesperson and current Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand appeared on behalf of CBI. The CBI’s U-turn in the case was striking. Whereas earlier, it had sought the cancellation of the bail, it did not do so now.
N.K. Amin, who is also an accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, meanwhile filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court seeking bail in the Ishrat Jahan matter on the ground that the chargesheet was not filed in 90 days. Again, it was Ms. Anand who represented the CBI.
While no one denies the right of the accused to seek bail, fairness demands that those who have publicly defended the Ishrat Jahan encounter as genuine, and have cast aspersions on the line of enquiry being pursued by the CBI should at least not represent the CBI in this matter. Ms. Anand, in her position as the spokesperson of her party questioned the move by the CBI to take on record the letter that D.G. Vanzara wrote from the prison or to investigate the allegations made in the letter (see full video here).
It would be a travesty of justice if Ms. Anand continues to represent the CBI in an investigation she has questioned in the past. The flip-flops by the CBI in the recent days also raise fears about the independence of investigating agencies.
Released by Manisha Sethi and Mansi Sharma
For Justice for Ishrat Jahan Campaign/ 3rd December 2014.
(Please only refer to the latter part which deals with S.L.P.(Crl.) No. 4949/2013 which is the order passed in the Sohrabuddin case.)