Gujarat riots report leaked to RSS man
7 8 2011By Poornima Joshi and Gyanant Singh in New Delhi
State additional advocate general shares crucial SIT reports with Sangh ideologue to help accused GUJARAT IPS officer Sanjiv R. Bhatt has alleged in an affidavit before the Supreme Court that probe reports on the 2002 post- Godhra riot cases were forwarded by a state government law officer to an RSS man who used them to help riot- accused chalk out their defence.
Bhatt has annexed a number of hacked emails to buttress his charge that politicians in connivance with state government functionaries were engaged in a cover- up operation to secretly help the accused in riot cases. In his affidavit, Bhatt has pointed out that email exchanges showed that reports by the apex court- appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) with regard to the probe into nine major cases of riots were sent to additional advocate general Tushar Mehta last year from a state government email.
Mehta allegedly forwarded the reports — purportedly sent to him by under secretary (home) Vijay Badekha — to RSS ideologue GurumurthySwaminathan who in turn prepared a note on the basis of the reports and sent it to lawyers appearing for the accused before the Supreme Court. Gurumurthy, on his part, denied being part of any such operation. “I have never received any email pertaining to the ongoing SIT probe from Tushar Mehta or anyone,” he said. He laughed when asked whether he was a recipient of information about the sensitive probe that threatens chief minister Narendra Modi. “
Reports to the contrary are mere concoctions.
I cannot recollect having received any such email,” he added.
Bhatt, meanwhile, has annexed another series of emails showing an attempt to help a chargesheeted accused in the Gulbarga Society massacre allegedly with the connivance or support of CM Modi himself.
The IPS officer alleged that Mehta had himself prepared a draft petition for the chargesheeted accused who had approached the apex court for relief and had even kept the chief minister’s office in the loop.
POINTING to the email exchanges, Bhatt said Mehta had sent a draft petition — to be filed before the SC — to the lawyers of the chargesheeted accused in Delhi on April 4, 2010.
The help did not end with this.
Mehta prepared a reply affidavit to be filed before the apex court on behalf of the Gulbarga accused and forwarded a copy to the principal secretary to the chief minister on April 15, 2010.
Mehta also forwarded a copy of the petition and the affidavit by the accused to Gurumurthy.
The email exchanges, which Bhatt claimed to have hacked as part of his duty to obtain intelligence with regard to commission of offences, showed that most affidavits filed on behalf of the state government passed through Gurumurthy.
“ The most objectionable aspect is that Sri Tushar Mehta has on one hand drafted the affidavit to be filed by the accused and on the other hand has also prepared the state’s affidavit in reply to the accused’s affidavit,’’ Bhatt said in his affidavit.
Bhatt has further pointed to an email sent to N. Ram of the Hindu imputing motives on judges for orders passed against Gujarat by the apex court. He alleged that the note on Gujarat cases was sent to Ram by Gurumurthy on February 17, 2010.
“ This requires to be viewed seriously by this Hon’ble Court,’’ he said in his affidavit.
The email to Ram particularly referred to a direction by the court to the SIT to probe into a complaint by Zakia Jafri who alleged that the riots took place pursuant to a conspiracy involving Modi, his cabinet colleagues and several government functionaries in the state.
Ram, on his part, said he did not remember any such email exchange and expressed surprise over the mention.
“ I have no recollection of any such email,” Ram said.
Bhatt — a 1988 Gujarat- cadre IPS officer — who has raised questions on the impartiality of trial in riot and encounter cases in Gujarat, claimed that the hacked email exchanges showed that government officers, lawyers and politicians were all hand- in- glove.
He pointed out that even a political memorandum prepared to be submitted to President Pratibha Patil was forwarded by former minister of state for home Amit Shah to the additional advocate general. The email showed that the law officer was actively involved in drafting of a political memorandum demanding investigation against Teesta Setalvad and her organisation.
THE Sangh ideologue had prepared the memorandum to be given to the President by a delegation comprising senior BJP leaders L. K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.
Coming to encounter cases, Bhatt pointed out that the SIT probing the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case sent an email concerning the case to Mehta in September 2009.
The case, however, was later handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court which even passed certain strictures against one of the police officers, Geeta Johri.
The email exchanges showed that a letter purportedly sent by Johri to
the CBI SP who took over the encounter probe was in fact written by Mehta, Bhatt alleged.
After Amit Shah was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Sohrabuddin encounter case, Gurumurthy sent an email to Mehta asking for documents to defend him. In fact, his job as a law officer was just the opposite.
The bail application for Shah was also forwarded to Mehta.
Bhatt further alleged that Gurumurthy drafted the affidavit filed by additional secretary ( home) in the Zakia case.
Meanwhile, the apex court had recently sought scrutiny of the SIT probe in the Gulbarga Society massacre, in which Zakia’s husband was killed, by amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran.
After Raju submitted his report, the court decided not to give a copy
either to the SIT or to the state government.
It has reserved its order on the report.
Mail Today, 5 August 2011