IPS ex-cop Pandey gets bail in Ishrat Jahan encounter case

Suspended Indian Police Service officer P P Pandey was today granted bail by a special CBI court in Ahmedabad.

Pandey has been in jail for 18 months in connection with the infamous case of a fake encounter in 2004, in which Ishrat Jahan and three others were pulled off a bus and shot dead.

Special CBI Judge K R Upadhyaya granted bail to former additional director-general of police Pandey on a personal bond of Rs1 lakh with two surety bonds.

He has been in jail since July 2013, when he surrendered before the court.

The CBI court also directed Pandey to surrender his passport, and asked him not to leave the country without its prior permission. The court has also put a condition that Pandey will not make any attempt to hamper the investigation of the case or try to influence any witness associated with the case.

Pandey has to appear before the CBI court every Thursday and has to remain present during the trial, the court order said.

Pandey was Ahmedabad's Joint Commissioner of Police when Mumbra-based 19-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by Ahmedabad crime branch police in an 'encounter' on the outskirts of the city on 15 June 2004.

The victims were unarmed; and according to an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation, it was a fake encounter orchestrated jointly by the Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau.

During the hearing of the case, senior Advocate Nirupam Nanavati, who argued on behalf of Pandey, said that his client was booked in the case on the behest of another IPS officer, Satish Verma.

Nanavati also maintained that the CBI had not arrested the IB officials involved, but only acted against the Gujarat police officials. 

Public prosecutor for the CBI L D Tiwari, opposing the bail, said Pandey was part of the conspiracy that had led to elimination of the four persons. Tiwari also said that Pandey is an influential person who can affect the investigation in the case.