SC allows Gujarat government to accept DGP Pandey’s offer to quit : Ishrat Jahan case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today allowed the Gujarat government to accept the resignation offer of DGP PP Pandey, who is an accused in the Ishrat Jahan case.

The police officer wrote a letter expressing his willingness to step down forthwith if the state government so desired.

The top court said that since Pandey had already offered his resignation, the Gujarat government accepting it would bring an end to his term. Pandey, who is out on bail in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, had been granted an extension until April 30.

The SC bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and D Y Chandrachud recorded that Pandey, in the letter, expressed willingness to step down and urged the state government to revoke the notification appointing him till April 30.

Former top cop Julio Ribeiro’s counsel Kapil Sibal had challenged Pandey’s extension in the Supreme Court, saying he was accused of murder. Sibal added that a criminal case was pending against Pandey and he cannot stay at the top post for a single day. Instead, he has been given extension after superannuation. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet of the central government had granted the three-month extension to Pandey, who was to retire on January 31.

Pandey was heading the state crime branch when Ishrat, a 19-year-old girl based in Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. Gujarat police had claimed they had terror links and plotted to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

An SIT constituted by the high court to investigate the case had concluded that it was a fake encounter, following which the HC transferred the case to CBI.

After being released on bail, Pandey was taken back into service in February 2015 and appointed the Director of the state Anti Corruption Bureau.

On April 16 last year, Pandey was appointed the in-charge DGP of Gujarat.
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