Ishrat case: I accept responsibility for affidavit, disappointing Pillai is distancing himself from it, says Chidambaram
Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday that he accepted the responsibility for the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case.
Delhi: Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday that he accepted the responsibility for the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case.
He also said that it was disappointing that the then home secretary GK Pillai was distancing himself from it and pointed out that the second affidavit in the case was filed as the first was "ambiguous".
He said that it was his "duty" to correct the affidavit which was drafted without his approval and was being misinterpreted.
After consultations with the home secretary, director, Intelligence Bureau and other officers, the second affidavit clarified what the real intention of the central government was, he said.
"Which part of the second affidavit is wrong? I accept the responsibility for this affidavit. It is disappointing that the home secretary, who is equally responsible, wants to distance himself from that," Chidambaram said, as per ANI.
"It was brought to my notice that the first affidavit was filed without my approval and it was being misinterpreted. It was my duty to correct the first affidavit. So we filed a supplementary affidavit after consulting the home secretary, the director of Intelligence Bureau and other officers," he added.
Pillai served under then home minister Chidambaram in 2009 when the government filed two affidavits in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
Chidambaram further stated that the Central government in the said affidavit did not address any issue relating to the merits or otherwise in the police action.
"It was essentially concerned with dealing with the allegations relating to the intelligence inputs which were available with the central government and that was shared on a regular basis with the state government," he said.
When told that the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought all files in this connection, he said they were most welcome to do that.
Seeking to turn the heat on Congress, BJP had yesterday demanded a thorough probe into the alleged change of affidavits during the UPA rule in the Ishrat case and had charged former Home Minister P Chidambaram with saving the accused.
BJP had also accused Congress of siding with "anti-national" forces "who are out to break the nation" and had asked its leaders Rahul Gandhi and Chidambaram whether they had any sympathy for the country that gave them everything.
"Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is caught in a separate (issue), what I believe is going to be a scandal. As the former home secretary has revealed, Ishrat Jehan's name and connection with LeT were deliberately removed from the government report. On behalf of the party, I hope and wish there is a formal inquiry which fully establishes the truth. I feel there should be a thorough probe as to what really had happened and the truth should come out," BJP spokesperson MJ Akbar had told reporters, as per PTI.
Training his guns on Chidambaram, he had charged him with "saving" the terrorists, and had said that he was trying to "save" Afzal Guru, Parliament attack convict already hanged, even today.
Questioned about the timing of Pillai's remarks on Ishrat case and if he was siding with BJP, Akbar had said "Pillai is not supporting us, he is only supporting the truth. As a home secretary, he was in the know of everything and an eyewitness. He said the LeT connection of Ishrat was removed from the affidavit."
BJP's reaction came after Pillai's reported statement claiming that as home minister during UPA government, Chidambaram had recalled the file a month after the orginial affidavit, which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives, was filed in SC.
(With Agency inputs)