The Gujarat High Court today disposed of a petition seeking re-investigation in the murder of former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya on the ground that an appeal in this regard w
as pending with the Supreme Court.
Justice Ananat S Dave disposed of the petition that was filed by Pandya’s wife Jagruti after the CBI and the state government filed their respective replies, as directed by the court last month.
In their replies, the CBI and state government have said they have challenged in Supreme Court the judgement of HC dropping murder charges against 12 convicted in the case and raising doubts on the investigations by CBI.
Court disposed of Jagruti’s petition on the ground that the matter cannot be heard when appeals in connection to the same was pending in the SC.
Jagruti had filed petition in September last year after a division bench of the High Court had dropped murder charges against 12 convicted in the case and criticised the CBI probe calling it "botched up" and "blinkered".
While dropping murder charges, HC had however, upheld the charges of criminal conspiracy and terrorism under POTA against them awarded by the trial court.
Pandya, a former minister of state for home in Gujarat’s BJP government, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, near Law Garden area of the city when he had gone for a morning walk.
In her petition, Jagruti has cited lacuna in CBI probe with claims that the probe agency did not investigate the case in proper manner despite being provided with many leads.
Questioning non-action against alleged masterminds – Mufti Sufian Patangiya and Sohailkhan, Jagruti has categorically negated CBI’s theory that Pandya was murdered by the Muslims accused to avenge the post-Godhra riots.
Jagruti has also dubbed CBI’s action of clubbing the case of attack on VHP activist Jagdish Tiwari with Pandya’s murder as wrong move by the central agency.
She has further claimed in the petition that initial probe in the case was conducted by city crime branch under suspended IPS officer D G Vanzara.
Besides this, another IPS Abhay Chudasama was also deputed to CBI for a month to help the central agency in this case. Both of them are now in jail in connection with Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
Therefore, there ought to be a connection between Pandya’s murder and the fake encounter cases, she stated in her petition.
To further her claims, Jagruti has cited one Azam Khan’s statement as a witness in the fake encounter case, wherein he revealed how Chudasama claimed to have saved Sohrabuddin from being implicated in Pandya’s murder case.
Jagruti even relied on ADGP Geetha Johri’s claims that Kalimuddin and Nayeemuddin were the same person, an informer of Andhra Pradesh police. She claimed that he was an accused in Pandya murder case.