A few months ago the suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt requested to be "friend" on FB. From my FB newsfeed today I found out that Sanjiv Bhatt has written a letter to the President and posted it on scribd.
I've annotated the letter, below, in colour, for he raises important questions.
Sanjiv has done well to represent the truth. While I would generally be reluctant to support such publication of policy correspondence, he has been suspended by Modi for reporting the truth, and is entitled to fight back.
Whether the system supports him (and the truth) adequately is a moot question.
Regardless of whether the President acts on his request, Sanjiv Bhatt should be provided full protection by the government of India, for he holds the key to the truth of Modi's involvement in the ghastly murders of hundreds of Indians.
No. SRB/HEP/120406/01Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt IPSCamp: AhmedabadDate: April 06, 2012Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil,Her Excellency the President of India,Rashtrapati Bhavan,New Delhi.Sub: Appointment of Commission of Inquiry to Inquire into the Role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and / or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers, Police Officers, other individuals and organizations with respect to the adequacy of administrative measures taken to prevent and deal with disturbances in Godhra on 27/02/2002 and the subsequent disturbances in the State of Gujarat etc.Respected Madam,1. I am a serving officer of the Indian Police Service (1988-RR) allotted to the Gujarat Cadre, currently under suspension. I am conversant with the proceedings before the Honourable Justice Nanavati and Justice Mehta Commission of Inquiry as I was summoned by them vide their Summons No.COI-Guj.(Ahd.)-14-2011 dated 27/04/2011 and have been extensively examined thereafter as a witness.2. I was posted as Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence with the State Intelligence Bureau, Gandhinagar, from 1999 to 2002. I was handling the important and sensitive portfolio of Internal Security for the State of Gujarat and was also designated as the Nodal Officer for sharing of Intelligence with various agencies of the State and the Union of India.3. By virtue of the crucial position held by me in the State Intelligence Bureau, during the Gujarat Riots of 2002; I am privy to a plethora of information regarding the facts and circumstances that led to and facilitated the Gujarat Riots of 2002. I have been trying, albeit with very little success, to assist the Honourable Commission of Inquiry in uncovering the truth behind the incident of violence at Godhra Railway Station on 27th February 2002; the facts and circumstances, including the administrative complicity and official orchestration that led to and facilitated the Gujarat Riots of 2002; as well as the on-going cover-up operations aimed at concealing or destroying crucial evidence and obstructing the delivery of justice to the victims of Gujarat Riots of 2002. It is in the above stated conspectus and background of circumstances that I wish to bring the following facts to the notice of Your Excellency.4. Pursuant to the public outcry at the national as well as international level, against the reprehensible events of the Gujarat Carnage of 2002, the State Government of Gujarat by notification dated 6th March 2002, set up a fact finding Commission under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 ('the Act' for short). The terms of reference were stated as follows:The following shall be the terms of reference of the said commission namely:-(1) To inquire into-(a) the facts, circumstances and the course of events of the incidents that led to setting on fire some coaches of the Sabarmati Express train on 27.02.2002 near Godhra Railway Station;(b) the facts, circumstances and the course of events of the subsequent incidents of violence in the State in the aftermath of the Godhra incident; and(c) the adequacy of administrative measures taken to prevent and deal with disturbances in Godhra and subsequent disturbances in the State.(2) To ascertain as to whether the incident at Godhra was pre-planned and whether information was available with the agencies, which could have been used to prevent the incident;(3) To recommend suitable measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.5. By subsequent notification dated 20th July 2004, the terms of reference of the said Commission were expanded. This was ostensibly done on the basis that the Government had received representations for inquiring into the role and conduct of the Chief Minister, Ministers, Officers of the Government, other individuals and organizations. Additions made in the previous notification dated 6th March 2002 were as follows:-
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the commission of Inquiry Act, 1962 (60 of 1952) the Government of Gujarat hereby amend the above referred the Government Notification, Legal Department No.: GK/07/2004-COI/102002/797-D dated 6th March 2002, for the aforesaid purpose as follows namely:-In the said notification -I. After clause (c) in sub-Para (1) of Para-2, following clauses (d) and (e) be added, namely:-(d) Role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and / or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers, Police Officers, other individuals and organizations in both the events referred to in clauses (a) and (b).(e) Role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and / or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers, Police Officers(i) in dealing with any political or non-political organization which may be founded to have been involved in any other events referred to hereinabove,(ii) in the matter of providing protection, relief and rehabilitation to the victims of communal riots(iii) in the matter of recommendations and directions given by National Human Rights Commissions from time to time.
II. In para 2: in sub-para (1) in clause (b), after the words, 'incidence of violence', for the words and figures, 'that took place on and from 27th February 2002 to 30th March 2002, the words and figures 'that took place on and from 27th February,2002 to 31st May 2002' be substituted.
6. It is very pertinent to note that Reference (c) was not included while expanding the scope of the Terms of Reference of the Commission to include the "Role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and / or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers, Police Officers, other individuals and organizations” while adding clauses (d) and (e) sub-Para (1) of Para-2of the original Terms of Reference.7. The deliberate exclusion of Reference (c) has ensured that the Role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and / or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers, Police Officers, other individuals and organizations is not examined with respect to the adequacy of administrative measures taken to prevent and deal with disturbances in Godhra and subsequent disturbances in the State.8. Even as per the deficient Terms of Reference, the role of the State Government of Gujarat, inter alia, should have been one of discharging its constitutional obligation of diligently and honestly assisting the Honourable Commission in unearthing the truth regarding the facts and circumstances that resulted in and facilitated the incidents of violence, as also the adequacy or otherwise, of the measures taken by the then administration in dealing with the same.9. It is indeed ironic that the State Government of Gujarat instead of conducting itself as a neutral and dispassionate Constitutional Entity has chosen to act in a partisan manner by identifying with and espousing the cause of the Functionaries of the State Administration, including the Chief Minister, whose very role and conduct is squarely covered by the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry. It is a matter of record that the State Government of Gujarat, through its officials like Mr. Dinesh Kapadia and Mr. Girish Chandra Murmu IAS, tried to tutor and influence witnesses with the sole purpose of ensuring that the truth regarding the role and conduct of the administration headed by the Chief Minister was not exposed before the Honourable Commission. It is even more unfortunate that the Counsel for the Honourable Nanavati Commission, Advocate Mr. Arvind Pandya was also involved in tutoring and dissuading witnesses from deposing the truth before the Honourable Commission. Even today, the Counsels appearing before the Commission on behalf of the state continue to enjoy the indulgence of the Honourable Commission in effectively and successfully stonewalling any inquiry into the role and conduct of the Chief Minister. In fact, the State Government of Gujarat continues to frustrate all attempts at even summoning and questioning certain high functionaries of the administration, including the Chief Minister.10.That the National Human Rights Commission in its final report (May 2002) which has been recently tabled by the State Government of Gujarat, in the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat, has stated :“There is no doubt, in the opinion of this Commission, that there is a comprehensive failure on the part of the State Government to control the persistent violation of the rights to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the people of the State That is why it remains of fundamental importance that measures that require to be taken to bring the violators of human rights to book are indeed taken”. (para 64, report of NHRC)11.The role and conduct of the State Government of Gujarat came in for scathing criticism in the Judgement and Order of JJ. Bhattacharya and Pardiwala in Special Civil Application No. 3023 of 2003 decided on 8/02/2012. The learned judges inter alia observed that“However, the facts remain that the anarchy continued unabated for days. When according to the State, the riot broke out as a general reaction from the unfortunate incident of Sabarmati Express at Godhra as disclosed in its affidavit, such fact should have been known to the police intelligence and they should have taken appropriate preventive action well in advance. Failure on the part of the police intelligence to gather such general reaction in time and to take appropriate timely action definitely come within the expression “negligence of the State” even if we for the sake of argument accept the defence of the State that the cause of riot was the “general reaction from the incident of Sabarmati Express”. Similarly, the fact that the riot continued for several days itself suggests lack of appropriate action or adequate action, if not inaction, on the part of the State in handling the situation.”“…we hold that there was inadequate endeavour on the part of the State Government in effectively handling the situation resulting in destruction of more than 500 places of religious worship throughout the State belonging only to the one religious community ““…the policy decision taken in tackling an incident of earthquake, which is an act of God, cannot be applied in handling a situation arising out of the culpable inaction, inadequate action or negligence on the part of the State Government in protecting the fundamental rights of the citizens guaranteed by our Constitution. In our opinion, the above policy of the State Government taken in defence is one of evading the constitutional responsibility and will bring anarchy in the society, and thus, is detrimental to the establishment of the principles and the tenets of our Constitution.”“…the State Government has, however, a constitutional obligation to take all possible steps to stop such illegal activities lest for its inaction or inadequate action, the life and the liberty of innocent citizens of this country are jeopardized in any way only because they belong to one of the communities of the persons involved in the riot. A conjoined reading of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India leaves no doubt that a citizen has, subject to the restrictions contained therein, a right to lead a meaningful life based on his faith on any religion and also the right to practise, profess and propagate any religion. He has also the freedom to manage religious affairs and maintain places of worship of his choice. Those Articles have found place in Chapter III of the Constitution enumerating the fundamental rights of a citizen. Thus, the State has a duty to protect those fundamental rights of the citizens conferred by the abovementioned Articles…”
12. It is well established that the rationale for a Commission of Inquiry flows from the right of the People of India, as enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, to be informed as to the what, why and how regarding the events of definite public importance.13. It is therefore most humbly prayed that: in view of (a) the lacuna in the Terms of Reference as pointed out in Para 7 above (b) the role and conduct of the State Government of Gujarat as pointed out in Para 8 and Para 9 above (c) the observations and findings of the National Human Rights Commission, referred at Para 10 above, and (d) the observations and findings of the Honourable Gujarat High Court, referred at Para 11 above; the Central Government of India may expeditiously appoint a two member Commission, under Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1952, headed by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India, to inquire into:a. the Role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and / or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers, Police Officers, other individuals and organizations with respect to the adequacy of administrative measures taken to prevent and deal with disturbances in Godhra and subsequent disturbances in the State; andb. the adequacy of the steps and measures taken by the Administration, from 1st June 2002 till date; to facilitate relief, rehabilitation and the delivery of Justice to the victims of the Godhra incident of 27th February 2002 and the subsequent Communal Riots of 2002, in the State of Gujarat.With profound regards.Yours sincerely,
If you found this post useful, then consider subscribing to my blog by email: