Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a public interest litigation seeking quashing of criminal prosecution, suspension and other action taken against Gujarat cops charged for the killing of Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan in an alleged fake encounter in 2004. The court said the persons with locus standi could move the appropriate forum.
The PIL had sought quashing of the case against the Gujrat police officers in view of the recent testimony of LeT operative David Coleman Headley through video link to a Mumbai court. Headley is serving a 35-year term in a US jail for terror activities.
“What is the purpose of Article 32. You cannot file such a case under it. If you wish, you can go to the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said minutes after lawyer M L Sharma started arguments in the case.
However, the bench clarified that it was not dismissing the petition on merits when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a clarification on this issue.
“Any person having locus can approach the appropriate authority,” the bench said paving way for the affected Gujarat policemen including then DIG D G Vanzara to move the court for their exoneration in the politically sensitive case.
The plea refers to the statement of Headley, the Pakistani-American terrorist, recorded before a Mumbai court that Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.
Gujarat Police personnel, including ex-cop Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.
The plea, said that after headly’s confessions the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by Gujarat Police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.
“The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat
Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat Police, were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.
Proceedings and action taken in FIRs lodged by CBI against the Gujarat Police personnel and others, saying it was unconstitutional within the judicial facts and evidences of Headley.
It had also sought a direction from the court declaring that killing of a terrorist is not an offence under Indian law and proper compensation be paid to the state police personnel in the interest of justice.
It also pleased for suo motu proceedings against the then Home Minister and CBI Director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court and for filing a false affidavit pertaining to facts about the case.
( With PTI inputs)