Plea in SC for fresh probe of murder of ex-Gujarat minister Haren Pandya

A fresh plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking court-monitored investigation into the murder of former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya.

Pandya, a former minister of state for home in the then Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, in Ahmedabad near Law Garden area of the city during his morning walk.

The petition, filed by NGO CPIL, said that there was a need for the fresh probe in the case as some "startling information" has recently come to light which needs to be looked into.

"New pieces of information that have come to light regarding the possibility of IPS officers including D G Vanzara being involved in the conspiracy to kill Pandya clearly show that the involvement of the senior functionaries of the police as well as possible complicity of political figures. The investigation has clearly been 'botched' to benefit powerful figures in the administration," the petition claimed.

Referring to a recent testimony of a witness in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, the plea claimed that witness has revealed that during his deposition Sohrabuddin had told him that Pandya was murdered as a part of a contract killing for which the contract was given by D G Vanzara.

"He also reveals that Sohrabuddin's associate Tulsiram Prajapati along with two others had murdered Pandya as part of that contract. In his deposition he mentions that he had already given this information to CBI in 2010," the plea claimed.

The NGO has made Ministry of Home Affairs and CBI as parties in the case.

It has sought production of the statement of Vanzara to the CBI and an "inquiry into the circumstances in which an identity sketch of the assassin drawn in 2003 that matches Tulsiram Prajapati more than the accused put on trial and the nature of investigation done".

The plea also sought an inquiry against the officers who conducted the earlier investigation and hold the errant officials accountable for the "botched up" probe.

A special PoTA (Prevention of Terrorist Activities) court had in 2007 convicted all 12 accused in the case who were awarded life imprisonment.

However, on August 29, 2011, a division bench of Gujarat High Court had slammed CBI for the probe which it said was "washed up" and "blinkered", and acquitted all the accused from the charge of murdering Pandya.

CBI has filed an appeal against the acquittal in Supreme Court.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel