Thursday, May 5, 2011

Supreme Court declines to take Sanjiv Bhatt’s affidavit on record

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to take on record the affidavit filed by Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of having adopted an “anti-minority stance” during the post-Godhra riots.

The court said the affidavit in which Mr. Bhatt claimed that he had attended the February 27, 2002 meeting called by Mr. Modi, would be considered only after it gets an independent analysis of the report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) by senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who is assisting it as amicus curiae in a Gujarat riots case.

“So far we have not taken on record the affidavit by him,” a special bench comprising justices D.K. Jain, P. Sathasivam and Aftab Alam said.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Gujarat government, said Mr. Bhatt had raised concern over his security which has now been take care of.
SIT Chairman R.K. Raghavan also told the court that immediately on receiving letter from Mr. Bhatt about his security, he had contacted the DGP, who responded and provided security to him.
“I am satisfied,” Mr. Raghavan said.
The SIT in its fresh status report has considered the statement of the IPS officer.
Mr. Bhatt was summoned by the SIT in March on the directive of the Supreme Court, which had asked it to consider whether further probe was required against Mr. Modi and 52 others in the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was burnt to death at his Gulbarg Society residence in Ahmedabad.
Mr. Bhatt, a 1988-batch IPS officer who was posted as DCP at the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) during the riots, had filed an affidavit on April 14 alleging that Mr. Modi had instructed officers during a meeting on February 27, 2002 to allow Hindus “to vent out their anger” during the clashes and he wanted Muslims to be “taught a lesson”.
Mr. Bhatt is currently posted as the principal of the State Reserve Police Training Centre in Junagadh.
The SIT has in its status report also mentioned about a letter written by suspended Gujarat IAS official Pradeep Sharma requesting to be allowed to depose on information received from the CM’s office during the period.

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