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Ishrat case: CBI seeks legal opinion to prosecute IB officers

One view holds that since Rajinder Kumar was in active service at time of alleged crime, sanction for his prosecution needed from Home Ministry

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

With the supplementary chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case finalised, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the opinion of the law ministry on whether sanction is needed to prosecute Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers in the conspiracy, in which Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s aide Amit Shah might not be named.

CBI sources said they had gathered enough evidence about the role of IB officers in the conspiracy behind the encounter but there were contrary views on whether sanction from home ministry is needed to prosecute Special Director Rajinder Kumar (now retired), and three other officers — P Mittal, M K Sinha and Rajiv Wankhede.

One view holds that since Kumar was in active service at the time of the alleged crime, sanction for his prosecution is needed from Home Ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority, they said. Another opinion was that since he retired from service in July this year, the agency could go ahead with its charge sheet without any need for a sanction to prosecute, they said.

The agency does not want to go ahead with a half-baked case, hence the matter has been referred to Law Ministry for clarity, they said. Sources said that as far as the role of the said officers in the alleged conspiracy was concerned, the agency had gathered enough evidence against them.

They added that if Law Ministry felt that a nod from Home Ministry was needed before filing the supplementary charge sheet, CBI would send a request seeking sanction to prosecute the said officers.

However, if the Law Ministry feels otherwise, the agency would go ahead with its supplementary charge sheet which is ready with all the corroborative evidence in place, they said.

Meanwhile, on the question of any role by Shah in the matter, senior officials of the agency have made it clear that there was no legally tenable evidence on the basis of which he could be named as an accused in the charge sheet.

First Published: Tue, December 24 2013. 23:10 IST