Seeking recall of its order for fresh probe in three cases of alleged police encounters in Porbandar, the Gujarat High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea of IPS officer Satish Verma, who had assisted CBI in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
The single judge High Court bench had in April 2012 asked the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (law & order) to conduct probe and submit a report on the death of three persons in 1996-97 in Porbandar, where Verma was posted as Superintendent of Police.
A bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and JB Pardiwala on Thursday declined to go further into the matter and dismissed his petition to recall the earlier order.
The court said, “At this stage, we will not go into the matter. The matter is before a single judge bench. All parties are at liberty to raise their concerns before the single judge bench.”
This will come as a setback to Verma, who had played an instrumental role in assisting CBI which concluded that the encounter of Ishrat and three others was ‘fake’ and carried out in a joint operation by Gujarat Police and IB.
The High Court had in 2012 given an order on a petition filed in 2011 by one Hiralal Shial, brother of one of the deceased persons, seeking CBI probe into these cases on the ground that the state police did not conduct investigation even after specific directions issued by high court in 1998.
After deaths of three persons in separate incidents, a group known as Action Committee for Prevention of Police Atrocities moved the high court in 1997 and sought a CBI probe in the matter.
It had alleged that the three persons were liquidated by police under stewardship of then Porbandar SP Verma.
Further, the group had alleged that Verma used to resort to fake encounters to liquidate people after falsely implicating them as hardcore criminals.
Verma had, however, challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court, saying that then special IG of CID (Crime) Hiralal had given clean chit to him.
The Supreme Court had dismissed Verma’s petition on May 3 directing him to approach the high court with a fresh petition. Verma had moved the petition in the high court last week.
(With inputs from agencies)