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Pandey finally faces court, on a stretcher

Jul 30 2013, 02:23 IST
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Summary‘Absconder’ gets relief from arrest for now

Amid high drama, additional DGP P P Pandey, an accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case, on Monday appeared before a CBI court on a stretcher, accompanied by two nurses to seek anticipatory bail, and won relief from arrest till July 31.

The court asked Pandey to appear before the CBI magisterial court, which had issued a non-bailable warrant against him on July 31. Pandey, on the run for months had been ordered by the SC to appear before the CBI court on Monday.

On Monday, he was taken to Chandramani Hospital in Ahmedabad from where he was brought to the court late afternoon. Dr K M Aggrawal at the hospital said Pandey suffered from diabetes, chest pain and had fever.

In the courtroom, Pandey remained motionless till about 8.15 pm when the court pronounced its order. However, he was spotted chewing a mix of betel nuts and paan masala.

Pandey’s counsel Nirupam Nanavaty argued that the CBI had named 20 persons in its FIR but, in its chargesheet filed on July 3, it had “exonerated” 13 of them and charged only seven officers. Among these seven, he added, four had been out on default bail. So, he argued, Pandey’s arrest was not required since investigation related to him was already over and chargesheet filed. Nanavaty also argued that Pandey had co-operated with the investigation and that it was only when CBI started “witch-hunting” that he approached courts.

Pandey’s application was opposed by additional solicitor general Indira Jaising, who appeared for the CBI.

Jaising said the petition was not maintainable as there was an non-bailable warrant pending against him.

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