The Gujarat government has declined sanction for the prosecution of retired police officers D G Vanzara and N K Amin in the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others in 2004, the CBI informed a special court Tuesday.
This was the only information made public by the CBI which handed the Gujarat government's response in a sealed cover to special court judge J K Pandya. Vanzara and Amin are seeking discharge from proceedings and the matter will be heard next on March 26. Special public prosecutor R C Kodekar, representing the CBI, later told The Indian Express: "The letter was in a sealed cover and only the last part where prosecution was not granted to both (Vanzara and Amin) was made public."
Kodekar said it was now up to the court to take a decision. "The court can either agree with the government, or it can disagree, or it may ask us to make a submission on this aspect," he said.
Vanzara told The Indian Express: "The contents of the government report will be made public only on March 26, and then we will decide the future course of action."
The CBI had approached the Gujarat government for sanction on directions of the special court last October. It had sought sanction for prosecution under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure - under this section, prior sanction is required from a competent authority to prosecute a public servant.
Former DIG Vanzara and former SP Amin were among seven police officers chargesheeted in 2013 by the CBI in in the alleged fake encounter case in which 19-year-old Mumbra girl Ishrat Jahan, her friend Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh and two alleged Pakistani nationals, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana, were shot dead on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004.
Police had claimed that the four were "terrorists" who wanted to kill the then Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi.