SIT report uncovers the murky world of anti-Modi cottage industry, where cops, journalists, NGOs, politicians are in nexus
(our Thanks to DeshGujarat.com and Japan Pathak)
Ahmedabad, 9 May 2012
In its closure report, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has clearly expressed an opinion that “certain vested interests including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, different NGOs, and some political leaders were trying to use honorable Supreme Court/SIT as a forum for settling their scores”. The SIT has in its report noted that “Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been colluding with the persons with vested interests to see that some kind of charge-sheet is filed against Shri Narendra Modi and others.” The report has quoted some email communications of Sanjiv Bhatt that clearly make a point that Bhatt had attempted to influence Amicas Curiae through NGOs, media campaign and pressure groups.
The SIT in it report says: Government of Gujarat vide its letter dated 22-6-2011 forwarded a set of emails exchanged between Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG, Gujarat Police and certain individuals during April and May 2011. It was mentioned in the above letter that during the course of an inquiry instituted against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS by DG (Civil Defense), Gujarat regarding misuse of official resources, some revelations have been made having direct bearing on the cases being monitored by SIT. The material forwarded by Govt. of Gujarat has been scrutinized and the salient features of the same are summarized as below:
(1) That top Congress leaders of Gujarat namely Shri Shaktisinh Gohil, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly and Shri Arjun Modhwadia, President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee are in constant touch with Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG. They are providing him ‘packages’, certain materials and also legal assistance. Further, on 28-04-2011 Shri Sanjiv Bhatt exchanged mails with Shri Shaktisinh Gohil and the former gave point for arguments in honorable Supreme Court matter, allegations to be made against the members of SIT and to establish that the burning of a coach of a Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station was not a conspiracy. From the emails, it appears that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was holding personal meetings with senior mentions that he was ‘under exploited’ by the lawyer representing Congress before Nanavati Commission of inquiry.
2. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been persuading various NGOs and other interested groups to influence the Ld. Amicus Curiae and the honorable Supreme Court of India by using ‘media card’ and ‘pressure groups’.
3. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been exchanging emails with one Nasir Chippa and in the email dated 11-5-2011 Shri Bhatt has stated that he (Nasir Chipa) should try to mobilize support/pressure-groups in Delhi to influence Ld. Amicus Curiae Shri Raju Ramchandran in a very subtle manner. In another email dated 18-5-2011, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had requested Shri Nasir Chippa to influence Home Minister Shri P.Chidambaram through pressure groups in U.S. It is believed that Shri Nasir Chippa has strong U.S. connections and his family stays there.
4. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt arranged an appeal from Shri M.Hassan Jowher, who runs a so called NGO titled SPRAT(Society for Promoting Rationality) to Amicus Curiae on 13-5-2011, to call Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS, Shri Rajnish Rai, IPS, Shri Satish Verma, IPS, Shri Kuldeep Sharma, IPS and Shri Rahul Sharma, IPS (all police officers of Gujarat) to tender their version of the Gujarat story. It may be mentioned here that the draft for the said appeal was sent by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt himself to Shri Jowher, Further, a copy of this mail was circulated by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt to Ms. Shabnam Hashmi, Ms. Teesta Setalwad, Shri Himanshu Thakker, journalist, Shri Leo Saldana, journalist and Shri Nasir Chippa to encourage the prominent persons/organizations to write to Amicus Curiae on the similar lines so as to pressurize him.
5. In emails exchanged on June 1, 2011 between Shri Sanjiv Bhatt and Shri M.H.Jowher, it was proposed that a PIL may be field through a lawyer named Shri K.Vakharia( a senior advocate and chairman of legal cell of Congress party in Gujarat) in the Gujarat High Court for providing security to Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. It was also proposed that another complaint may be filed with the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad city against Shri Narendra Modi and others for his alleged involvement in 2002 riots which would be taken to appropriate judicial forums in due course.
6.That Ms. Teesta Setalwad, her lawyer Shri Mihir Desai and Journalist Shri Manoj Mitta of Times of India were in constant touch with Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS and were instrumental in arranging / drafting of the affidavit for filing the same in honorable Supreme court. Vide email dated 10-4-2011, Shri Bhatt solicited “Co-ordinates” from Ms. Teesta Setalwad, who had also arranged for a meeting with her lawyer Shri Mihir Desai at Ellis bridge Gymkhana, Ahmedabad. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt sent the first draft of his proposed affidavit to Shri Manoj Mitta on 13-4-2011, after meeting Shri Mihir Desai, Advocate and invited his suggestions. Shri Manoj Mitta advised Shri Sanjiv Bhatt to incorporate a few more paragraphs drafted by him which were incorporated by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt in his final affidavit sent to honorable Supreme Court of India as suggested by Shri Mitta.
7. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was instrumental in arranging an affidavit of one Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary, a journalist, to corroborate his claim that he had gone to attend a meeting called by the Chief Minister at his residence in the night of 27-2-2002. Significantly, Shri Bhatt had sent his mobile phone details of 27-2-2002 to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary and had also suggested that probable timings of his meeting to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary on 15-5-2011. Simultaneously, these details were sent to Ms. Teesta Setalwad on 16-5-2011, for drafting the document, presumably the affidavit to be filed by Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt sent an email to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary that the said affidavit could be leaked out to the print media which would force the Amicus Curiae and honorable Supreme Court to take notice of the same. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt also sent another email to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary, in which he has stated that they should play the ‘media trick’ so that affidavit is taken seriously by Amicus Curiae and the honorable Supreme Court.
8. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been exchanging emails with one Leo Saldana, a Narmada Bachao Andolan activist, with a view to mobilize public opinion in their favor. On 1-5-2011, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had sent an email to the latter to the effect that what they needed to do at this stage was to create a situation, where it would be difficult for three judges Supreme Court bench to disregard the ‘shortcomings of SIT under stewardship of Mr. Raghavan’ and that the pressure groups and opinion makers in Delhi could be of great help in forwarding the cause. He has further stated in the mail that he was hopeful that things would start turning around from the next hearing, if proper pressure was maintained at national level.
9.That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was trying to contact Shri K.S.Subramanyam, a retired IPS officer, through Shri Nasir Chippato make an affidavit supporting his stand with a view to convince the Amicus Curiae and through him the honorable Supreme Court of India that Shri K.Chakravarthi, former DGP of Gujarat, was a liar.
10. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been taking advice of Ms. Teesta Setalwad in connection with his evidence before Nanavati Commission of inquiry. He had also been in touch with various journalists, NGOs and had been forwarding his representations, applications and other documents through email, whereas on the other side he had been claiming privilege that being an intelligence officer he was duty bound not to disclose anything unless, he was legally compelled to do so.
11. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been maintaining a close contact with Shri Rahul Sharma, DIG of Gujarat Police and had been getting his mobile phone calls analyzed with a view to ascertain his own movements of 27-2-2002. This shows that Bhatt does not recollect his movements on that day. He has also been trying to ascertain the movements of Late Haren Pandya, the then minister of state for Revenue on 27-2-2002, with a view to introduce him as a participant of the meeting of 27-2-2002 held at CM’s residence, but could not do so, as Shri Rahul Sharma had informed him after the analysis that there was absolutely no question of Late Haren Pandya being at Gandhinagar on 27-2-2002 night.
From the study of emails, it appears that certain vested interests including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, different NGOs, and some political leaders were trying to use honorable Supreme Court/SIT as a forum for settling their scores.This would also go to show that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been colluding with the persons with vested interests to see that some kind of charge-sheet is filed against Shri Narendra Modi and others.
Courtesy: The Pioneer
August 05, 2011 11:36:46 PM
If the former Telecom Secretary’s statements are meant to be brushed aside as discredited nonsense, why should a discredited IPS officer be taken seriously?
As it finds itself increasingly beleaguered, the Congress is talking itself into one trap after another. Two recent instances stand out.
In the midst of the telecom scandal trial, Mr Siddhartha Behura, former Telecom Secretary, told the court of a crucial meeting that apparently took place on December 4, 2007. The meeting, Mr Behura claimed, was attended by Mr P Chidambaram, then Finance Minister, and Mr D Subbarao, then Finance Secretary. This meeting decided upon the pricing of 2G licences, he has said. His contention is that he, as Telecom Secretary, only implemented the decisions taken at this meeting. In a sense, he has sought to expand the ambit of culpability.
Responding to Mr Behura’s charge, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal was dismissive. “We have looked into records,” he said, “the records show that there was no such meeting. Neither Mr Chidambaram nor Mr Subbarao remembers any such meeting.” He also warned of “the danger of taking arguments made on behalf of an accused, and treating them as evidence and gospel truth”. Mr Behura, the Telecom Minister added, would attempt to save himself “even on the basis of non-existent facts”.
For all one knows, Mr Sibal may be right. Perhaps Mr Behura is indeed lying and attempting to implicate others in a show of desperation and bravado. If that is the case, the UPA Government needs to oppose him tooth and nail.
Now consider another example. In Gujarat, Mr Sanjiv Bhatt, an officer of the Indian Police Service, has spoken of a meeting at the Gandhinagar residence of Chief Minister Narendra Modi on February 27, 2002. This was on the evening of the Godhra train incineration. Mr Bhatt has alleged Mr Modi asked that Hindus be allowed to “vent out their anger” and wanted Muslims to be “taught a lesson”.
Potentially this is explosive stuff. A police officer is actually saying a Chief Minister asked his administration to back off and allow a state-backed massacre of innocent people. However, the Modi Government has denied Mr Bhatt was in the meeting of senior police officials that the Chief Minister called on February 27, 2002. The then State police chief has refuted Mr Bhatt’s contention that he was in the room that day. Mr Bhatt, it is said, was simply too junior to have attended the meeting.
It has also been established that Mr Bhatt has been in touch with activists such as Ms Teesta Setalvad and with the Congress’s Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly. In e-mail correspondence that is now before the court, he is offered legal support and coaching for his deposition before the Special Investigative Team by Ms Setalvad. He exchanges documents with the Congress leader, Mr SS Gohil, and asks him for a Blackberry phone. He tells another police officer to find out where Haren Pandya, a Minister in the Gujarat Government who was later assassinated, was on February 27, 2002.
The SIT, set up by the Supreme Court to look into the Gujarat violence, had asked Mr Bhatt if Pandya was present at the meeting. Presumably, Mr Bhatt was so engrossed in listening to his Chief Minister that he didn’t notice who else was around. Alternatively, could it be concluded Mr Bhatt wasn’t around himself?
Mr Bhatt has had a controversial career. He faces court cases for misuse of official authority. He has been involved in land-grab cases. In one incident, he was charged with framing a person who had a property dispute with a then judge of the Gujarat High Court. The National Human Rights Commission passed strictures against Mr Bhatt in this matter and fined him for “falsely involving a person in a criminal case … (and violating) fundamental human rights”.
Disciplinary action was taken against the judge as well. The judge appealed before the Supreme Court, but unsuccessfully. The judge’s lawyer, as it happened, was Mr Chidambaram, now Union Home Minister. Today, of course, Mr Chidambaram glosses over that old association and his party praises Mr Bhatt’s “courage”.
Mr Bhatt’s history has led to him having run-ins with the Gujarat Government. He has also been denied a promotion. His career is at a dead-end. Isn’t there enough reason for him to resort to desperate measures and attempt to resurrect himself “even on the basis of non-existent facts”, to borrow Mr Sibal’s expression?
If Mr Behura’s statements are meant to be brushed aside as discredited nonsense, why is Mr Bhatt supposed to be taken so seriously? Does the Congress believe all non-existent meetings are irrelevant but some non-existent meetings are less irrelevant than others?
In another episode, the Jan Lok Pal Bill activists led by Anna Hazare released preliminary findings of a survey they said they had conducted in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency. The survey apparently showed overwhelming support for the activists’ version of the Lok Pal Bill. To be fair this proved nothing. The Hazare-driven Jan Lok Pal Bill is severely flawed and will end up creating a bureaucratic monster.
However, what was worth noting was the Congress’s reaction. Mr Manish Tiwari, the party spokesperson, invited Mr Hazare to contest the 2014 parliamentary election from Chandni Chowk (now represented by Mr Sibal) and essentially convert that battle into a referendum on competing versions of the Lok Pal Bill.
This is an interesting methodology, one that places primacy on the democratic process and reduces all debate to judgement only by the electronic voting machine. It is worth considering whether Mr Harsh Mander can be put up as the National Advisory Council candidate from Madha or Baramati, take on Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, and convert a constituency contest into a referendum on competing versions of the Food Security Bill.
Alternatively, Ms Setalvad (or even Mr Bhatt) could be the joint Opposition candidate from Maninagar in the December 2012 Gujarat Assembly election. This could then be presented as a referendum on alternative narratives on Gujarat in the past decade.
Those two final suggestions may sound facetious and silly. They are; yet no less offensive is Mr Tiwari’s mocking invitation to Anna Hazare to join electoral politics. Indeed, it is the Congress’s sudden belief in the purity and integrity of the political process that is so astonishing. In Gujarat, it has used extra-political means to fight its opponents. With the NAC, it has used extra-political mechanisms to draft and push through legislation. Having built the kitchen, it suddenly can’t stand the heat. How convenient.