Monday, May 7, 2012

Amicus Curae or Assinine Opinionated?

The amicus curae report has been made public. Some of the relevant points are copy-pasted below, and some important sections are blue and our comments in green.

6. The most important allegation in the complaint, which is required to be considered in detail by this Hon'ble Court, is the allegation made against the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi. It is alleged that, in a high-level meeting held at about 11.00 P.M. on 27.02.2002 at Mr. Narendra Modi's residence, illegal instructions were issued to senior police officers and bureaucrats "not to deal with the Hindu rioting mobs". It is also alleged that the Chief Minister had influenced the police at the time of the riots, as two of his cabinet colleagues were placed in the State Police Control Room and the Ahmedabad City Police Control Room respectively on 28.02.2002."

Against modi, mere allegations are always enough!

"16. As already stated in paragraph 6, the most serious allegation levelled by the complainant was regarding the alleged statement made by Shri Modi in the meeting convened on 27.02.2002. Therefore, an interaction with the witnesses who could throw some light on the said meeting was necessary. Similarly, witnesses relating to the positioning of the 2 Cabinet Ministers were also relevant. Accordingly, an interaction took place with the following witnesses at Gandhinagar on 18th and 19th June, 2011, namely (1) Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, (2) Smt. Swarnakanta Verma, (3) Shri K. Chakravarthi, (4) Shri G.C. Raiger, (5) Shri P.C. Upadhyaya and (6) Shri P.C. Pande, the then Commissioner of Police. (The first of whom, as already stated, claims to have been present at the meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence on 27.02.2002, and stated that the Chief Minister gave illegal instructions, while the remaining persons do not accept his presence.) "

Against modi, mere allegations are always enough!

18. It may be mentioned that Shri Bhatt brought along with himself his former driver, Shri Tarachand Yadav. He also submitted an affidavit of Shri Tarachand Yadav, sworn on 17.06.2011, stating that the same had been sent for filing in this Hon’ble Court. The said affidavit seeks to support Shri Bhatt’s assertion that he had gone to the residence of the Chief Minister on 27.02.2002. Shri Bhatt also submitted an affidavit of Shri K.D. Panth, Police Constable, affirmed on 17.06.2011, again stating that the same had been sent for filing in this Hon’ble Court. The said affidavit seeks to support Shri Bhatt’s version about going to the Chief Minister’s residence on the night of 27.02.2002. Shri Rahul Sharma submitted an analysis of the call records of senior police officers which, according to Shri Sharma, corroborates Shri Bhatt's statement. These documents were taken by me only with a view to help me in understanding the statements recorded by the SIT.

19. It is necessary to state that the interaction was in order to understand and appreciate the statements already made by the witnesses to the SIT and, therefore, no fresh statements were either recorded or got signed by me. The witnesses more or less reiterated what they had stated in their Section 161 Cr.P.C statements.

Typical pseudo-humilty and pseudo-wisdom by anti-Hindus.

20. The most vital material, supporting the allegation made by the Petitioner against Shri Modi, is the statement of Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCP (Intelligence). The SIT has concluded that his version is not believable for various reasons, inter alia that (a) the other senior officers present in the said meeting have not supported his statement, (b) his silence for more than 9 years without any proper explanation appears to be suspicious, (c) a number of departmental and criminal proceedings have been instituted by the Government and hence, Shri Bhatt has an axe to grind with the Government of Gujarat. Therefore, the SIT opines that his statement is motivated and cannot be relied upon. The SIT also points out discrepancies in Shri Bhatt’s versions about the exact language said to have been used by the Chief Minister. The SIT also discredits Shri Bhatt by pointing out that his version about a subsequent meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence on 28.02.2002 at about 10:30 hours cannot be believed because his mobile phone records show that he was at Ahmedabad at 10:57 A.M., and therefore could not have reached Gandhinagar before 11:30 A.M.

21. The SIT has further pointed out that Shri Bhatt has tried to tutor witnesses (Shri Tarachand Yadav and Shri K.D. Panth) to support his version. I have also received a copy of a letter (marked confidential) dated 22.06.2011 from the Under Secretary, Home Department to the Chairman, SIT. In the said letter, the Government of Gujarat has stated that it has “retrieved” several emails of Shri Sanjiv Bhatt (I am not commenting on the legality of such “retrieval”). According to the Government of Gujarat:

“It leaves no room for doubt that it is a systematic and larger conspiracy, through Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, involving top leaders of Congress Party in Gujarat, vested interest groups surviving on anti-Gujarat campaign and electronic and print media reporters all of whom have started final efforts to keep the Godhra riot issue live based on concocted facts and Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, through all of them, is trying to build up a story at a stage when after almost 10 long years the Hon’ble Supreme Court has virtually concluded the judicial proceedings after undertaking tremendous judicial exercise as elaborately pointed out in the affidavit of the State Government.”

22. I am conscious of the fact that though Shri Bhatt has been contending that he would speak only when under a legal obligation to do so, his conduct after making his statement under Section 161 Cr.P.C. has not been that of a detached police officer who is content with giving his version. I am left with no doubt that he is actively “strategizing”, and is in touch with those who would benefit or gain mileage from his testimony. But these factors, in my view, cannot be grounds for ignoring his statement at this stage.

And despite the dubitable nature of the accuser, his accusations must be heeded to!

23. In my opinion, despite the aforesaid background, it does not appear very likely that a serving police officer would make such a serious allegation against Shri Modi, the Chief Minister of the State, without some basis. There is no documentary material of any nature whatsoever which can establish that Shri Bhatt was not present in the meeting on 27.02.2002. In the absence of the minutes of the meeting, there is again no documentary material available as to the participants in the meeting and what transpired at the said meeting. Therefore, it is the word of Shri Bhatt against the word of other officers, senior to him. The SIT has chosen to believe the word of the senior officers, i.e. senior bureaucrats and police officers. However, I find that the SIT itself, in its Preliminary Report, has observed as follows [at p.13]:-

"(3) Some of the public servants, who had retired long back, claimed loss of memory as they did not want to get involved in any controversy.

(4) The other category of public servants, who have recently retired and provided with good post-retirement assignments, felt obliged to the State Government and the present Chief Minister and therefore their testimony lacks credibility.

(5) The serving public servants, who have been empanelled for the higher posts, did not want to come into conflict with the politicians in power and incurred their wrath which affected their frank response."

And yet Bhatt's statements must be heeded!

24. I also find it difficult to accept the conclusion of the SIT that Shri Bhatt’s statement is motivated, because he has an axe to grind with the State Government over issues concerning his career. Further, in my opinion, it may not be proper to disbelieve Shri Bhatt at this stage, only because the other officers have not supported his statement. Similarly, the delay in making the statement cannot be the sole ground to disbelieve the statement at this stage, especially in view of his explanation that as an Intelligence Officer who was privy to a lot of sensitive information, he would make a statement only when he was under a legal obligation to do so.

Since it is difficult to prove that Bhatt is motivated so we must assume that he is not motivated! What inversion?

29. I reiterate here that I am fully conscious of the fact that the statement made by Shri Bhatt has possible limitations inter alia (a) the delay of 9 years in coming out with his version, and (b) the statements of other senior officers contesting his claim. I am also fully conscious of the fact that Shri Bhatt has made attempts to get other witnesses (i.e. Shri Tarachand Yadav, Shri K.D. Panth etc) to support his case, and has been part of a “strategizing” effort. However, it is ultimately for the competent court to decide whether Shri Bhatt is to be believed or not. As long as some material indicates that the allegation may be true, the case must proceed further in accordance with law.

35. The next question which arises is that, if the statement of Shri Bhatt is to be believed, then what offence(s) are made out against Shri Modi. The direct role of Shri Modi is limited to allegedly making this statement on 27.02.2002. Though it is alleged that, with a view to ensuring that his instructions were carried out by the Police Department, Shri Modi had positioned 2 of his cabinet colleagues at the State Police Control Room and the Ahmedabad City Police Control Room respectively, the SIT has come to the conclusion that the Ministers did not interfere in any manner with the functioning of the Police. The material collected by the SIT does not indicate that these 2 ministers interfered with the working of the police department at the time the riots were taking place. However, there is the possibility that the very presence of these 2 Ministers had a dampening effect on the senior police officials, i.e. the DGP and the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, if indeed Shri Modi had made a statement (as alleged) the previous night. This is again one of the circumstances which can be taken into account and examined during the course of trial.

39. If Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is to be believed, the message conveyed by the Chief Minister (at the meeting held at his residence on 27.02.2002), was further conveyed by the very stationing of the 2 Ministers in the Police Control Rooms. While there is no direct material to show how and when the message of the Chief Minister was conveyed to the 2 Ministers, the very presence of political personalities unconnected with the Home Portfolio at the Police Control Rooms is circumstantial evidence of the Chief Minister directing, requesting or allowing them to be present. As already noted, the Chairman, SIT himself has found that their positioning in the Police Control Rooms had, at least, the Chief Minister’s “tacit approval”.

40. However, there is no material to show that the Ministers interfered with the functioning of the Police Department or gave any instructions to the senior police officers. Even Shri Bhatt, who claims to have been present in the Police headquarters at that time, says that Shri Jadeja did not remain in the office of the DGP for a very long time. There is an absence of material to indicate that the statement of Shri Modi, allegedly made in the meeting on 27.02.2002, had been actively implemented by the Ministers or the 2 police officials who participated in the said meeting.

Thus the amicus curae goes on and on to tell us why we must still keep investigating against Modi. Why? Because, Modi is assumed to be guilty and so investigation must continue until some evidence however much doctored comes out!

We are reminded of an extremely contrasting case: famous OJ Simpson Murder Case. OJS was alleged to have murdered his girl-friend. OJS is Black and his girl-friend was White. There were two gloves which were allegedly used by OJS. At the height of the case, the question was "Did the gloves fit?". Despite the preponderance of other evidences including DNA, OJS was acquitted on the flimsiest of doubts. OJS was more than ninety nine percent guilty and yet was acquitted owing to less then one percent doubt.

In the present case of Bhatt, the relevant questions are:

Was Sanjiv Bhatt present in the alleged meeting, if it was held, that is?

And if so, did Modi utter what Bhatt alleges he did.

We do not know what evidence can be brought to establish these, and whether Bhatt's testimony is to be taken as reliable.

Yet, the amicus curae recommends prosecution!

The main argument used by amicus curae to ask initiation of investigation against Mr. Modi is that the affidavit submitted by Sanjiv Bhatt must be given due credence given his seniority and given the sensitivity and the seriousness of the allegations and the case.

Subramanian Swamy has held positions more respectable than Sanjiv Bhatt and he is on record saying that Sonia Gandhi has been involved in various scams.

Thus before one even contemplates whether there is a case for investigating Modi, there is ample case to initiate investigation against Sonia Gandhi.

Further Modi allegedly headed the meeting. Manmohan Singh has been heading this corrupt government for past ten years and yet he is clean!

Similarly regarding Sajjan Kumar etc.

However, everybody, including the likes of Sajjan Kumar (1984 riots infamy), Quattrocchi (Bofors infamy) are taken to be innocent even when proven guilty; while Modi is treated guilty even if proven innocent. This is the level to which the anti-Hindu ethos has stooped to in this country.

We demand that if there has to be any investigation or prosecution, it has to be against: First Sonia, Sajjan Kumar, Chidambaram, ... and after that first Sanjiv Bhatt and only after that, let there be even a debate if there needs to be any further investigation against Modi.

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