HC reserves order on Ishrat’s plea against more time for charge sheet


New Delhi:  The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved its order on former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan’s plea, challenging a trial court order granting the Crime Branch 60 more days for filing the charge sheet against her in connection with the February riots.

A single judge bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait reserved the order after hearing all the parties at length, via video conferencing.

During the hearing, Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi Police, stated that the investigators have “enough” material evidence to show that the extension of 90 days given by the court was correct in law.

“Material speaks out loud that the extension is given rightly and in accordance with the law,” he said.

Mehra also opposed the contention of the petitioner’s counsel that the extension was given out “without the application of mind” by the trial court.

“The trial court had correctly applied its mind and this can be seen from the fact that extension of only 60 days was given and not the complete 90 days as prescribed under the law,” he said.

Ishrat Jahan, through her counsel – advocates Manu Sharma and Arjun, moved the high court against the trial court’s June 15 order by which it had given an extension of two months to the Crime Branch to file a charge sheet in the case against her.

“The same is against the democratic and fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India. And the order deserves to be set aside on this ground alone. Speedy and fair investigation are fundamental tenets of the criminal justice system,” the plea said.

The plea also said that the order is based on surmises and conjectures and is against the settled principle of law. Ishrat Jahan also told the court that the said order is “erroneous, bad in law and wrong on facts.”

“It is pertinent to mention that none of the reasons for seeking extension of time for filing charge sheet or extension of detention for petitioner/accused Ishrat Jahan were meaningful or sufficient to satisfy the grant of extension of the same further failing onto the second limb of section 43(D)(2)(b) of UAPA which speaks about specific reasons that are to be stated for extension of the detention,” the petition read.