Sanjiv Bhatt Moves Supreme Court About Amit Shah's Access To Gujarat Riot Cases Info

17/09/2015 7:36 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah speaks at a press conference in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Shah is on a two-day visit to the newly created state Telangana. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

NEW DELHI -- Former Gujarat police official, Sanjiv Bhatt, has moved the Supreme Court to order an investigation into alleged collusion between government officials, defence lawyers, and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Shah, in cases relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots and the fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

Bhatt has submitted emails, which, he believes, prove that Tushar Mehta, the state's then advocate-general, was keeping Shah, now the party president, in the loop on Gujarat riot cases.

"The basis of the case against Amit Shah is that Gujarat riot cases were passed through him and they were shared via email," Indira Jaising, his lawyer, told HuffPost India. "He was in active coordination with Tushar Mehta."

"The state should have kept away from his since he was an accused. This is a gross interference in the justice system," she said.

Shah was an accused in the case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, an extortionist, who was allegedly killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar by Gujarat's Anti-Terrorist Squad in November 2005.

Bhatt, who was suspended from Indian Police Service in 2011 for being absent from duty, has sought impleadment of Shah, G.C. Murmu and Pranav Badekha, who then served as government officials in Gujarat, and journalist Gurumurthy Swaminathan, in his petition for investigation of the FIRs filed against him by constable KD Pant for allegedly coercing him to sign a false affidavit, and by Mehta for hacking into his email account.

The former police official, who was sacked, last month, has asked for a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe instead of a CBI inquiry.

"The sheer magnitude of the collusion between the state administration and the accused persons and their lawyers to undermine the process of justice is unheard of, even in mass crimes trials," said his application to the Supreme Court.

Bhatt, who became famous for crossing swords with the state establishment, alleged that former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, now prime minister, told police officials to "let Hindus vent their anger" after the Sabarmati Express carrying Hindu pilgrims was torched in February 2002.

In 2011, Bhatt filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court, which said that Modi told police officials on Feb 27, 2012, "This time the situation warranted that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such situations that do not recur ever again."

The vast majority of those killed in Gujarat - official records puts the figure at 1,044 - were Muslims.

In 2012, a SIT team, set up by the Supreme Court, cleared Modi of wrongdoing. In 2014, a special CBI court exonerated Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

Also Read: India's Gujarat Hindu-Muslim Riot Anniversary Remembered (PHOTOS)

Also Read: In Modi's Gujarat, Muslims Struggle To Be Respected By Hindus

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