HC issues notice to Gujarat over Sanjiv Bhatt`s application

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 00:56

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court issued notice to the state government in connection with an application filed by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, asking the court to decide relevance and secrecy of 2002 riot related documents, to which he had been denied access by the Justice Nanavati (Retired) Commission.

Set up in the aftermath of post-Godhra riots, the commission had informed Bhatt on October 22, 2013 that he is permitted to inspect them only after their relevance and secrecy could be decided.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala issued notice to the Gujarat government today, in connection with Bhatt`s application and posted the matter for further hearing after 15 days.

Bhatt filed an application today seeking the court`s direction to the state government to immediately forward all the documents to him, as per directions given by the court on October 14, 2013.

In October last year, the court had asked the Gujarat state to hand over certain documents pertaining to the period from February 2002 to November 2002, to Bhatt, to allow him to depose before the Justice Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 riots.

Bhatt had sought these documents from the Gujarat government to file a detailed affidavit before the Commission regarding alleged roles played by different government personnel during the 2002 riots.

The Gujarat government made it clear before the Commission that it had destroyed nine out of 47 documents sought by Bhatt during "routine course", while producing 15 others and terming the remaining ones as being traced or not maintained or marked as `classified`.

Bhatt had stated that in addition to those documents
which have allegedly been destroyed, the Gujarat government had not produced 10 sets of documents on the ground that they had not been maintained or not produced before the department.

Failure to produce the documents on the ground of "non-maintenance" or not forwarding the same to the department runs directly in contravention of the court`s order.

The suspended IPS officer said that it is a conscious attempt by the Gujarat government to frustrate the orders of the court and thereby deny him an opportunity to inspect relevant documents and file an affidavit for deposing before the Justice Nanavati Commission.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 00:56

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