The Central Bureau of Investigation has sought three months' time from the Gujarat high court to conclude its probe in the case of Sadiq Jamal, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat police in 2003.
Deputy Superintendent of Police and chief investigating officer of CBI Satish Kumar Rathi on Monday filed an application seeking more time.
The application is expected to come up for hearing in a couple of days.
"The investigation, at present, is in a very crucial phase. The agency needs further time to complete the probe, as directed by the court," said CBI counsel Yogesh Rawani.
In June 2012, the Gujarat high court had granted three-month time and asked the agency to complete the probe by October 2, 2012.
In the past three months, the agency had first arrested former Mumbai scribe Ketan Tirodkar and then recently, on September 25, had arrested Mehsana Deputy SP Tarun Barot. Both of them are now in judicial custody.
CBI had also interrogated IPS officer G L Singhal, who had, as then superintendent of police at Crime Branch, Ahmedabad, conducted the investigation in May-June 2003.
Sadiq Jamal, a resident of Bhavnagar city, was allegedly killed in Galaxy cinema area of Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003 by officers of the Crime Branch.
Authorities at that time claimed that Sadiq had entered the city with the motive to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Dr Pravin Togadia.
Later, Sadiq's brother Sabbir Jamal filed a petition in the high court in 2007, claiming that his brother was killed in a fake encounter and demanded a CBI probe in the case.
Granting his prayer, Justice M R Shah on June 16, 2011 ordered the agency to take over the investigation and complete it by December 2011.
But in December, CBI approached the HC to seek more time, as the state government had not provided any facilities and infrastructure to it.