Centre files fresh affidavit in Ishrat encounter
It tells court it is not responsible for the action Gujarat govt took on its reports.
Ahmedabad:The Centre on Wednesday filed a fresh affidavit in the Gujarat High Court in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, saying it never justified the action of Gujarat police and it had no objection to an independent inquiry in the case.
"The central government was not concerned with the merits of the action taken by the Gujarat Police and anything stated in the (earlier) affidavit was not intended to support or justify the action of the State police," the centre said in fresh affidavit filed before the High Court today said.
"If, on a proper consideration of the facts it is found that an independent inquiry and investigation has to be carried out, the Union of India would have no objection to
this and would abide by the decision of the Court," the affidavit filed by Under Secretary, Internal Security-VI in the Ministry of Home Affairs, R V S Mani said.
A judicial inquiry in the Ishrat Jahan case by magistrate S P Tamang had concluded that the encounter of Ishrat Jahan was fake.
The Gujarat government defended itself before the High Court by quoting an affidavit filed by the Centre, which said that as per Ishrat and three others were linked to Laskar-e-Toiba terrorist organisation.
The Gujarat government's action of justifying the encounter of Ishrat, Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani, had resulted in war of words between the Congress leadership and the ruling BJP.
After that, the Centre had decided to file a fresh affidavit in the Gujarat High Court. The earlier affidavit filed by the Centre said that as per intelligence inputs all the four were Lashkar operatives and had come to Gujarat for terrorist attacks.
"The Central Government in the said affidavit did not address any issue relating to the merits or otherwise of the police action. It was essentially concerned with the dealing of allegations relating to the intelligence inputs which were available with the Central Government and which are shared on a regular basis with the State Governments," said the affidavit filed by the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday
"The primary concern of the Central Government was to see that the inputs gathered by the Indian security agencies and their efforts were not discredited. It should be clear to all such inputs do not constitute conclusive proof and it is for the State Government and the State police to act on such inputs.
The Central Government is in no way concerned with such action nor does it condone or endorse any unjustified or excessive action," the fresh affidavit said.
"The main purpose of the (earlier) affidavit was to highlight the contradictions in the pleadings averred in the petition filed by the petitioner Sahmima Kausar, mother of Ishrat Jahan and by Gopinatha Pillai, father of Javed alias Pranesh Pillai," said the new affidavit.
The earlier affidavit made it clear that the public order and law and order are State subjects. It further made it clear that whilst the police action of June 15, 2004 had been inquired into by the Additional Director General of Police (CID and Intelligence) of the Gujarat Police, the allegations made in the petition in relation to the incident and the inquiry had to be replied to properly by the State of Gujarat.
The Gujarat High Court had later stayed the judicial inquiry report of Magistrate Tamang.
The High Court had also earlier formed a committee of three IPS officers to probe into the encounter, which took place on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of city.