The special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Monday gave bail to suspended Indian Police Service officer G L Singhal and three other Gujarat police officers arrested by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
Bail was granted as CBI failed to file a chargesheet against them within the mandatory 90 days from arrest.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate S H Khutwad granted bail to Singhal, Tarun Barot, J G Parmar and Bharat Patel against bail bonds of Rs 1 lakh and sureties of same amount. They are not to leave the state and would have to remain present before the investigating officer once a month.
Justifying the delay in filing chargesheet, the CBI had said another accused, IPS officer P P Pandey, was absconding while the arrest of co-accused D G Vanzara, who was at present in a Maharashtra Jail in Soharabuddin case, had been delayed because his transfer warrant had to be re-issued. But the judge held that this had nothing to do with the failure to file the chargesheet in 90 days, as required under Criminal Procedure Code.
Mumbai-based Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai and alleged Pakistani nationals Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johan were killed in an encounter on June 15, 2004 on an empty stretch of road between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
The Gujarat police had then claimed that they were part of the conspiracy to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Barot and J G Parmar, though given bail on Monday, would remain in jail as they are facing trial in Sadik Jamal fake encounter case.
Among the IPS officers arrested in fake encounter cases in the state in the recent past, Singhal is the first one to get bail.