The Supreme Court Tuesday reserved its order on the bail plea of Gujarat cadre IPS office Narendra Kumar Amin who is in jail for his alleged involvement in Ishrat Jahan and other staged shootout cases.
A bench of Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice C. Nagappan reserved order on plea of Amin contending that he was entitled to “default bail” as the charge sheet in his case was not filed within 90 days as mandated under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Senior counsel Ram Jathamalani who appeared for Amin contended that Amin was arrested on April 4, 2013 but was produced before the court on April 5 and the charge sheet was filed on July 3 – which was one day beyond the 90 days limit for filing charge sheet which entitled him for the grant of “default bail”.
The failure of the prosecuting agency to file the charge sheet in murder cases within 90 days entitles an accused for a default bail – which Jethamalani described as an indivisible right of the accused.
He told the court that the charge sheet filed by the CBI on July 3 was not a complete charge sheet as under the CrPC a complete charge sheet must be accompanied with the supporting documents that had been relied upon by the investigating agency for filing it.
The CBI which had filed the charge sheet July 3 had completed the filing of supporting documents by July 8.
Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand, without disputing the dates, argued whether technicality of charge sheet not being accompanied with the documents would be sufficient for the grant of bail to the accused.
Senior counsel Huzefa Ahmedi who appeared for the victim Ishrat Jahan too opposed Amin plea for bail merely on the technicality that CBI had not filed the supporting documents along with the charge sheet.
Amin’s plea for bail was rejected by the additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) on July 9, 2013 and the appeal against the order of the ACJM was dismissed by the Gujarat High Court Aug 16.
Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan and her three alleged associates Pranesh Gopinath Pilai, Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar were killed by Gujarat Police in a staged shootout June 15, 2004.
Gujarat Police had described them as Pakistani ‘Fidayeen’ who came from Jammu and Kashmir to assassinate the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.