Press Release: Arguments in the Zakia Jafri Protest Petition

18, Jul 2013

The illegal
instructions given by A-1 chief minister Narendra Modi to the
Gujarat police to stop functioning as police, allow a ‘Hindu’
backlash to Godhra and not intervene when an orchestrated backlash
by VHP mobs was unleashed, were given at a closed door meeting, late
in the evening post 10.30 p.m. on 27.2.2002 and evidence of this is
available from various sources: the statement of Haren Pandya before
the Concerned Citizens Tribunal (May 2002) as testified before the
SIT by two Judges, Justices PB Sawant and Hosbet Suresh), to his
father Vithalbhai Pandya who also testified before the SIT; the
statement of Sanjiv Bhatt, then DCP-Intelligence to the SIT and RB
Sreekumar, then ADGP (SRP).

This evidence is
valid and needs to be tried in Court as it amounts to a head of
state cohesively orchestrating a conspiracy to paralyse the police
and administration from performing their Constitutional duties.
Amicus Curaie Raju ramachandran in both his Interim report (January
20, 2011) and Final report (July 25, 2011) also clearly stated that
Modi should be tried before a court of law.

Advocate Mihir
Desai counsel, arguing in support of the Zakia Jafri Protest
Petition. Assisted by Citizens for Justice & Peace, before the 11th
Metropolitan MagistrateÂ’s Court. Ahmedabad, further elaborated that
two of the six persons present at the meeting (Svarnakantha Verma,
former ACS) deputing for chief secretary Subha Rao, and Anil Mukhim,
OSD to the chief minister had clearly stated that cabinet ministers
were also present. Only those senior administrators and bureaucrats
who are co-accused in the criminal complaint of Zakia Jafri (then
DGP Chakravarthi – A 25, then CP Ahmedabad PC Pande A-29, then Home
Secretary K Nityanandam A-34, then ACS Home Ashok Narayan, A -28,
then Additional Principal Secretary to the chief minister PK Mishra
had stated that no politicians were present.

A retired Supreme
Court (PB Sawant) and High Court judge (Hosbet Suresh) gave
statements about Haren PandyaÂ’s statement, his father records his
statement before the SIT,two persons present at the meeting say that
cabinet ministers were present, and SIT says that the case is not
fit to go to trial ? This was a deeply prejudiced investigation,
insisted Desai. Both Justices Sawant and Suresh have also stated
that other officers like Vinod Mall, Himanshu Bhatt and Samiullah
Ansari from Gujarat also deposed before them and mentioned illegal
instructions from the top. The SIT deliberately failed to record
statements of two of the three; and while they recorded MallÂ’s
statement they conspicuously did not ask him about this critical
information. What kind of investigation has been carried out, he

SITÂ’s rank
unprofessionalism was clear in that highly confidential information
about Sanjiv BhattÂ’s presence (that became known only after he
deposed before SIT in November 2009) and was not known to anyone,
was leaked to powerful accused in order to allow them to create a
false and weak defence. In March 2010 when A-1 Narendra ModiÂ’s
statement was recorded by the SIT, he gave himself away, by
answering to the question put by SIT, “Who was present?” Modi
answered, naming all officials adding,“Sanjiv Bhatt was not
present.” How did he know about Bhatt’s presence except for the
obvious leak from the SIT? A-1 Modi should not have been privy to
this confidential information but in his over zealous bid to conceal
his guilt he stated what revealed this lapse, Desai argued.

While statements of
both BhattÂ’s driver and another driver of the police clearly state
that an Official log Book recording BhattÂ’s movements on that day
(27.2.2002) were available and submitted as per course to the IB,
SITÂ’s investigation papers makes available only a letter that states
that no such record is available! Such a Log Book would have been
incontrovertible evidence but it has been destroyed ! What happened
to the Log? How did it disappear? SIT has again failed miserably to
investigate these disappearances, destructions and lapses, insisted

Legally the chief
ministerÂ’s secretariat is bound under Standard Operating Procedure
to maintain minutes of meetings: that a meeting was held on
27.2.2002 is not being disputed, the fact minutes are missing puts
onus under section 106 of the Evidence Act on the accsued; yet SIT
states that it is not a fit case to go to trial ! Besides, as Desai
argued that evidence of a person who is dead, evidence that would
have gone against the pecuniary interest of the witness if alive, or
make him liable for criminal prosecution (as Haren PandyaÂ’s
testimony undoubtedly would have done) is valid evidence under
Section 32(3) of the Indian Evidence Act.


Narendra Modi

Vithabhai Pandya
Justice Hosbet Suresh
JusticeP.B. Sawant

Teesta Setalvad, Secretary

Other Trustees:

I.M. Kadri,               Nandan Maluste

Cyrus Guzder        Javed Akhtar
Alyque Padamsee
Anil Dharker          Ghulam Peshimam
Rahul Bose

Javed Anand         Cedric


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