On 1st October, 2013, the leader of the opposition Shri Arun Jaitely, who is also an established lawyer, wrote a seven page long letter to the Prime Minister bitterly complaining against CBI conducting the investigations of the fake encounters in Gujarat.the grievance of Jaitely is that the CBI was trying to politically victimize Modi. This is what Jaitely said:
The CBI targeted Shri Amit Shah, the then Home Minister and also the Minister of Law, Transport & Parliamentary Affairs of the State of Gujarat with the ultimate desire of implicating Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The entire letter of Jaitley is nothing but a frivolous and misconceived presentation of false allegations to mislead the Prime Minister as well as the nation and therefore requires to be countered publicly. As Dr Mukul Sinha, appears as the Advocate of Rubabuddin Sheikh, Brother of deceased Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Narmadabai, Mother of deceased Tulsi Prajapati and Gopinath Pillai, Father of deceased Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh, he has sent a detailed rejoinder to the letter of Jaitley to the Prime Minister to counter the lies.
We are reproducing a concise summary of the rejoinder herein below for understanding why BJP is resorting to such lies and subterfuge to derail the CBI enquiry. Another issue that has been raised by Jaitely is the murder of the former Home Minister of Gujarat Shri Haren Pandya on 26.3.2003. The High Court has acquitted all the accused and Ms Jagruti Pandya is seeking the reopening of the case to find out who had actually murdered her husband. The demand of the wife has unnerved the BJP leaders and to pre-empt the reinvestigation they have started making the allegation of political malafides against the Congress which has nothing to do with the issue.
We have summarised the counter to Jaitely by reproducing Jaitely’s allegations in itallics as follows:
1. The vast contemporaneous record shows that Shri R.K.Pandian, IPS had been regularly in telephonic contact of Shri Amit Shah much before and after the incident as a part of his official duty since he was also heading the charge of SP, IB(Intelligence) of the State Police looking after political agitations and political activities
Ans 1: RK Pandian was not the SP, IB (intelligence) of Gujarat State police when Tulsiram Prajapati was killed by Gujarat Police on December 28th 2006. In fact, RK Pandian was transferred to the post of IB Intelligence on 23rd March 2007, much after Tulsi was murdered. The periods of phone calls are in between these two murders and peaked around the date of murder of Tulsi).
2. The encounter in which one Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed was an operation allegedly directed by the Intelligence Bureau of the Central Government.
3. After his encounter on 24/25-11-2005 his brother filed a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court.
Ans2-3 Both the assertions 2 and 3 are patently false. On the basis of a letter written by Rubabuddin Sheikh dated 6th January 2006 Supreme Courtdirected Gujarat Government to do a preliminary inquiry which was entrusted to VL Solanki who had conducted the preliminary inquiry PE No 66/2006 and the complaint was filed against Special Task Force Rajasthan and Anti Terrorist Squad Gujarat. There was no mention whatsoever of either IB Central or SIB Gujarat or any intelligence input received from these intelligence organizations.
In the ATR filed before the Suprme Court, Gujarat Police (and not CBI) admitted that there were reasons to believe that Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi were adbucted and Sohrabuddin was killed by Gujarat Police on 26th November 2006 in Ahmedabad. Rubabuddin Sheikh had filed a habeas corpous petition on 19th January 2007.Supreme Court had ordered the Gujarat Police to start the investigation of the fake encounter and Shri Rajnish Rai IPS, DIG CID Crime Gujarat Police arrested DG Vanzara IPS, Rajkumar Pandian IPS and Dinesh MN IPS were arrested by Rajnish Rai of Gujarat Police on 24th April 2007. The first charge sheet was filed by Geeta Johri.
4. The State police reconstructed the encounter, conducted scientific investigation under supervision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and implicated and arrested several police officers including three IPS officers .
Ans 4: The assertion made by Arun Jaitley is true. However It is pertinent to note that the CBI had nothing to do with the charge-sheeting of Gujarat Police in the Sohrabuddin case till this point of time because the case hadn’t been entrusted to CBI. It was Gujarat Police which had filed the first charge-sheet in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and deemed the encounter to be fake.
5. The ground on which the Supreme Court transferred the case to the CBI was that the investigation involved inter-state ramifications and the Andhra Pradesh angle of the matter had not been probed. It did not probe the Andhra Pradesh angle of the case seriously.
Ans 5: The Sohrabuddin case was handed over to CBI by the Supreme Court not because of the reasons mentioned by Jaitley but in Supreme Court’s own words for the following reasons:
69. We have observed that from the record, it was found that Mr V.L. Solanki, an investigating officer, was proceeding in the right direction, but Ms Johri had not been carrying out the investigation in the right manner.
6. Tulsi Prajapati was a case built up by the CBI as an extension to the Sohrabuddin case.
Ans 6: The allegation at no. 6 is patently false. The investigation in the Tulsi Prajapati case was started by Gujarat Police on its own and not CBI. The investigation was initially entrusted to RajnishRai IPS of Gujarat Police in the month of March 2007 and later to Geeta Johri IPS of Gujarat Police. Thereafter one DySP Mr RK Patel of Gujarat Police took over the investigation and filed the first charge sheet against DSP Vipul Aggrawal and several others. However since Mr Patel had derailed the investigation, the Supreme Court by its order dated 8.4.2011 transferred the investigation to CBI
7. Ishrat Jehan’s case was also completely handled by the Intelligence Bureau of the Central Government (Central IB. The political establishment of the State of Gujarat was no where involved in this exercise.
8. In a surprise move the Gujarat High Court appointed a 3-member SIT which included a nominee of the Central Government, a nominee of the State Government and a nominee of the writ petitioners. The writ petitioner’s nominee was one Shri SatishVerma, IPS. The Central Government nominee kept on changing from Karnail Singh, Satyapal Singh to Shri R.K. Verma etc. The police officers of the Central Government were reluctant to be a part of this inquiry since the same was intended to be used for an extraneous political purpose.
Ans 7-8 The allegations in Points 7 and 8 are once again patently false. The false inputs were created by Rajinder Kumar, the Join Director of SIBstationed at Gujarat while working in tandem with the Gujarat Police and has been jointly charged for the encounter.
In the Javed-Ishrat case, High Court had appointed a three member SIT which gave the report that encounter was fake. The report was signed by R K Verma IPS on behalf of Central Government, Mohan Jha IPS on behalf of State Government and Satish Verma, IPS Court on behalf of the Petitioner. Jaitely however cast aspersion against the High Court by describing the appointment of SIT as “suprising”since the same was intended to be used for an extraneous political purpose.
9. The case was, thereafter, referred to the CBI and the police officers nominated by the relatives of the persons killed in the encounter himself desired and was made a part of CBI team initially for helping in the investigation. What happened thereafter has been one of the greatest scandals in recent investigation history.
Ans 9: The assertions (9) is not only patently false but are absurd. The investigation was transferred to CBI by the order of the High Court at the request of the Advocate General, Gujarat, and the accused police officers and not by the Advocate appearing for Gopinath Pillai (Mukul Sinha) who had vehemently objected to the appointment of CBI and had submitted that the SIT appointed by Gujarat High Court should continue with the investigation under Cr.PC.
10. After Shri Harin Pandya was assassinated it was the Gujarat Government that handed over the case to the CBI. It was the CBI which investigated the case there was no role played by Gujarat police or any person in Gujarat.
Ans 10: The assertion is factually incorrect and false. Abhay Chudasama of Gujarat Police, who is an accused in Sohrabuddin-Tulsi fake encounter cases, was specially deputed to CBI to ‘assist’ the CBI in the investigation of the Haren Pandya murder case. Thus the assertion that “no role was played by Gujarat Police” is wholly false. Abhay’s dubious role in other encounters makes his role suspicious.
11. Notwithstanding the fact of the appeal being heard in the Supreme Court, fresh efforts are being made to politicize the case and suggestions to this effect are being made in the corridors of power by senior Congress leaders to implicate BJP leaders at this belated stage.
Ans 11: It is true that High Court has acquitted all the accused who were prosecuted by the CBI in the Haren Pandya case and therefore the most important question has arisen as to who killed Haren Pandya. The allegation that fresh efforts are made to politicize the case appears seems to be a part of the fear psychosis of the BJP establishment that a reinvestigation in Haren Pandya case would open up a huge can of worms for the party.
12. It has been reported that an investigation has started by the CBI against the Advocate General, some Ministers and officials of the Gujarat Government. The charge appears to be that in the course of a preparation with regard to a case pending in the Gujarat High court in which the Advocate General was appearing, certain discussions have taken place between these ministers, officials and the Advocate General. The said conversations were allegedly taped at the behest of a police officer who was present in the meeting. This was in effect a discussion between the officers of the client i.e. Gujarat Government and its Advocate General. A legal strategy was being prepared. How can a preparation of legal strategy constitute any interference in the investigation of a case.
Ans 12: Thus State Government under law is the prosecutor in the Javed-Ishrat fake encounter case. State Government works through the public prosecutors and in the Higher Courts through the Advocate General. There cannot be a legal strategy planned between the State Government/Advocate General and the accused police officers along with their lawyers. In view of these undisputed facts, Arun Jaitley’s own assertion that “This was in effect a discussion between the officers of the client i.e. Gujarat Government and its Advocate General. A legal strategy was being prepared.“would amount to a clear admission that the Gujarat Government and the accused officers were colluding.