February 8: The Supreme Court on Friday listed hearing of a petition on February 12, seeking a fresh court-monitored probe into the murder of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya in March 2003.
On March 26, 2003, Haren Pandya, Gujarat’s Home Minister between 1998 and 2001, under Keshubhai Patel’s BJP dispensation, was shot dead in his car outside Ahmedabad’s Law Garden.
His wife, Jagruti Pandya, raised her suspicion over the initial probe in the murder carried out by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch under Deputy Commissioner of Police DG Vanzara.
The plea filed by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) stated that the need for a fresh probe had emerged in perspective of some information that has been surfaced recently and was also reported by the media.
Some sources say that another wing of the CBI, which was probing the Sohrabuddin and Prajapati killings had hinted about a connection between the murders of Pandya and Sohrabuddin.
It was added that the information regarding Pandya’s murder, was never probed properly by the CBI.
So far the CBI had named around 15 accused in Pandya’s murder and a Special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) Court had convicted 12 accused and sentenced to life in 2007.
However, in August 2011, the Gujarat High Court reversed the lower court’s “perverse and illegal” verdict and acquitted all the convicted accused citing lack of evidence against them.
In pursuant to High Court's order of acquittal the CBI moved appeal before Supreme Court which is currently pending.