August 13, 2013
Thirteenth Day of Arguments in the Zakia Jafri Protest Petition
The hate ridden speech made by A-1 Narendra Modi at Becharaji, Mehsana, on 9.9.2002 to launch the Gaurav Yatra and his election campaign was adjudged by field officers of the State Intelligence Bureau to be aimed at causing deep rift and communal divides, correspondence regarding which was sent by former ADGP-Intelligence RB Sreekumar to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on 16.9.2002 for which he was first transferred and then targeted and victimized. Despite the fact that the NCM had, through a letter dated 10.9.2002, requested a transcript of the speech, ACS Home Ashok Narayan (A-28) in the Zakia Jafri Complaint) and then DGP Chakravarthi (A-25) had instructed Sreekumar not to send the transcript to the statutory body. A handwritten noting of this illegal instruction signed by then DGP Chakravarthi is visible on this letter dated 13.9.2002 and yet the SIT made bold to give all accused a clean chit. Sreekumar, respecting the law and the Constitutional mandate had ignoring these illegal directives sent a copy of the transcript to the NCM on 16.9.2002 for which he was severely victimized. He was first transferred out, then denied legitimate promotion (for telling the truth to the Nanavati Commission in August 2004) and finally charge sheeted. He emerged victorious before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in two separate judgements.
Mihir Desai arguing for the thirteenth day in support of the Zakia Jafri Protest Petition supported by Citizens for Justice and Peace pointed out the serious contradictions in two different SIT reports about the content of the same speech. The virulently anti-Islam and anti-Muslim speech made by Modi that falls foul of Section 153a, 153b and 505 of the Indian penal Code, said Desai before Judge Ganatra, 11th Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, Ahmedabad today, was found by one officer of the SIT (AK Malhotra to the Supreme Court, 12.5.2010) to be communal but yet, with no further investigation, the Final report of the SIT (Himanshu Shukla, Crime Branch Ahmedabad, 8.2.2012) gives Modi a clean chit for such a speech. “…..Then what is paining them? Since, we (means BJP) are here, we brought water in Sabarmati during the month of Shravan, when you are there, you can bring it in the month of Ramdan (the holy month of Muslims). When, we brought water in the month of Shravan, you feel bad. When we spend money for the development of Becharaji also, you feel bad. What brother, should we run relief camps? (referring to relief camps for riot affected Muslims). Should I start children producing centers there, i.e., relief camps? We want to achieve progress by pursuing the policy of family planning with determination. We are 5 and our 25!!! (Amepanch, Amara panch, referring to Muslim polygamy). On whose name such a development is pursued? Can’t Gujarat implement family planning? Whose inhibitions are coming in our way? Which religious sect is coming in the way?...” are some of the divisive and inflammatory comments made by A-1 Modi in this speech (whole transcript attached). “If it is a communal speech, a hate speech meant to generate ill feeling and hatred in 2010 then it attracts penal provisions of the law for which A-1 Modi must be prosecuted; how can SIT suddenly in 2012 find him not guilty without any further investigation, especially when field level officers of the SIB have adjudged the speech to be criminal?
The SIT had clearly manifest a mindset where it has believed only those powerful accused arraigned in the complaint alleged Desai ignoring upright and independent witnesses, including senior officers of the Gujarat government like Sreekumar. ‘Why do you believe a OP Mathur over a RB Sreekumar ?” he demanded on the question of maintenance of a Conscience Register (attached) that had recorded a series of utter illegal instructions given to him that Sreekumar did not follow. Sreekumar warned the state government through a letter dated 3.11.2004 that he was in the possession of tapes and transcripts that exposed the coercive tactics being used against him even before he was denied legitimate promotion to the post of DGP Gujarat. In a thumping judgement in Sreekumar’s favour (September 2007), the Central administrative tribunal (CAT) had quashed the 9-point charge sheet against him said Desai but for the SIT Courts do not matter. SIT was clearly holding a brief for the powerful guilty accused. Among the nine points for which Sreekumar had been charge sheeted included revealing facts before the Nanavati Commission. In a detailed and well-reasoned judgement, the CAT, quoting Sardar Patel, India’s first Home Minister and HM Seervai’s India’s Constitutional expert, had held that senior officers were bound to the law and the Constitution and should not be servile to the illegal dictates of a sections of the government who give malafide orders. In effect the CAT ratified completely the stance of RB Sreekumar while being ADGP-Intelligence maintained a Conscience Register recording illegal instructions and independently serving the interests of the Rule of Law and Constitutional Governance. The SIT had ignored all these facts and dismissed the valuable evidence provided by Sreekumar. Instead of looking at the facts and contents of the IB Reports (dated 24.4.2002, May 2002, 15.6.2002, 20.8.2002 and 28.8.2002) the SIT had spent reams on trying to adjudge whether such a register ought to have been maintained. The Home department under A-1 Modi conspicuously did not maintain any minutes of any meetings nor record proceedings of meetings, possibly because of the dubious instructions given therein, and when an upright officer maintains a record SIT chastises him for it, Desai countered.
The significance of the contemporaneous evidence provided by Sreekumar stemmed from the fact that he exploded the myth that violence was controlled within 72 hours, he stressed on the deliberate subversion of the criminal justice system --- illegal freedoms given to the BJP and sangh parivar criminals; gave independent assessments of lives lost in police firing and mob violence to the NHRC and CEC (the CEC accepted Sreekumar’s version) and in fact dared to report the rank communal speech made at Becharaji by A-1 Narendra Modi. For all this he has been sought to be marginalized by the SIT, concluded Desai. Soon after Gill was appointed as special advisor to the Gujarat government by the Centre in early May 2002 (because violence did not stop) Sreekumar had suggested that culpable and complicit officers like CP Ahmedabad PC Pande and others should be transferred. Gill had followed these suggestions and transfers did take place thereafter Desai said. Yet SIT deliberately chose not to record statements of officers of the CEC, KPS Gill nor esteemed former CJI and officers of the NHRC. Why, Desai demanded.
Desai for the umpteenth time clarified that the SIT was required to investigate the criminal complaint dated 8.6.2006 made by Zakia Jafri assisted by CJP to the police. When there was no registration both petitioners had approached first the High Court and then the Supreme Court (SLP 1088/2008). Arguments will now continue on August 22.
Taizoon Khorakiwala Nandan Maluste Teesta Setalvad
Cyrus Guzder Javed Akhtar
Alyque Padamsee Anil Dharker Ghulam Pesh Imam
Javed Anand Cedric Prakash