‘Amicus curiae has erred by relying on Bhatt’

The SIT closure report, which gave a clean chit to Gujarat CM in post-Godhra riots, has found faulted the SC-appointed amicus curiae`s finding.

Ahmedabad: The SIT closure report, which gave a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in post-Godhra riots, has found faulted the Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae`s finding that he can be charged with certain offences related to the riots.

The amicus curiae (one who assists the court) has "erred" by relying solely on the statements given by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt and concluding that certain offences can be made out against Modi, the SIT report said.

Raju Ramchandran, a Supreme Court lawyer and amicus curiae, has in his report held Modi can be prosecuted for offences under IPC Section 153 A (1) (a) & (b) (for promoting enmity among different groups).

He has said Modi can also be tried under Sections 153 B (1) (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 166 (public servant disobeying law with intent to cause injury to any person) and 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes).

"This recommendation of amicus curiae is based on the sole testimony of Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) who has claimed to have attended a meeting called by the Chief Minister on 27.02.2002 night (day of Godhra train carnage) at his residence," said the SIT report made public on Tuesday.

"It may be mentioned here that seven other participants of the said meeting, who are senior officers, have categorically stated that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt did not attend the said meeting."

The view of the amicus curiae that it does not appear very likely that a serving police officer would make such a serious allegation without some basis appears to be erroneous as Bhatt had been all along a delinquent in his career and trying to bargain with the government, the report said.

Ramchandran based his conclusion about Modi on Bhatt`s deposition. The suspended IPS officer claimed that at the meeting, Modi had given instructions to officials to "allow Hindus to vent their ire and teach Muslims a lesson in the wake of the Godhra train burning incident".


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