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RAM JETHMALANI
ETHICS & POWER

Ram Jethmalani is a senior politician and eminent lawyer.

IPS officer Bhatt crossed all bounds to attack Modi

Senior Gujarat police officer Sanjeev Bhatt being taken to a trial court in Ahmedabad. PTI

he month of May kept Sanjeev Bhatt busy trying to get his cronies to influence P. Chidambaram and cook up false evidence and cobble pressure groups. On 18 May he sends a mail to Nasir Chhipa, who is supposed to be close to the Congress party, telling him, "I was told by Ms. Shabnam Hashmi that Home Minister P. Chidambaram can be influenced by pressure groups in the US. All appeals for the safety of witnesses, including myself, have not received the desired response from PC. You may have to work a little on this aspect...." (Mr Chidambaram, kindly note what the IPS officer you recently praised for insubordination thinks of you.)

On 19 May Nasir Chhipa replies, "We have wrote (sic) letters yesterday to Sonia, IAMC wrote letters and many other organizations. I will email you later." (IAMC stands for Indo-American Muslim Council.) On 28 May Sanjeev Bhatt writes, "Dear Nasirbhai, Any progress on the front of Amicus Curiae? Time is running out. We need to act quickly..."

Bhatt, the serving police officer, crosses all bounds when he prepares the affidavit of Subhranshu Chaudhary, former BBC correspondent, and procures it to substantiate his false stand that he had attended the meeting at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's residence on 27 February 2002. On 15 May, the telephonic coordinates of Shubhranshu Chaudhary are sent to him by Bhatt to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court to collaborate his false statement that he was present in the meeting of the Chief Minister by recreating his movements. Shockingly, the said details are also sent simultaneously to Teesta Setalvad on 16 May for drafting the affidavit to be filed by Shubhranshu Chaudhary. In one of the pre-affidavit mails to Chaudhary, Bhatt tutors him by writing, "May be you can mention that I had met him (Sanjeev Bhatt) on 27th when he was about to go to the 'disputed' meeting." Does one require any further evidence of the perjury in Bhatt's affidavit?

When Shubhranshu Chaudhary shows reluctance to give media hype to his affidavit, the petitioner writes to him advising use of the media, and asks whether Chaudhary is more comfortable with Arnab Goswami or Rajdeep Sardesai? When Chaudhary's reluctance still persists, Bhatt writes to him, "My feeling is that we could let the press sniff it out and contact you. It will not only make a good story for them, but, make the print media to take notice of your affidavit and finally force the hand of amicus and Supreme Court to take notice and subsequent affirmative action."

Bhatt, the serving police officer, crosses all bounds when he prepares the affidavit of Subhranshu Chaudhary, former BBC correspondent, and procures it to substantiate his false stand that he had attended the meeting at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s residence on 27 February 2002.

No further comments are required regarding the shocking behaviour of Bhatt, a serving officer of a disciplined police force, openly pandering to the media and telling Shubhranshu Chaudhary, "I think we should play the media card and make it difficult for the other side. If you fear that amicus and Supreme Court will not take it seriously then media trick can be tried. I will be speaking with Rajdeep Sardesai tomorrow I will drop a line to him and let him follow up the lead." On 19 May, Bhatt emails Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN, telling him that he has information that a senior journalist has "filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on 16th May, saying that he was with me when I had to leave for CM's meeting on 27-02-2002... Kindly confirm through your sources in Supreme Court..."

Bhatt also chooses to interact constantly with the prize anti-Modi brand ambassador Teesta Setalvad, whose raison d'etre would have been considerably threatened by the fact that the Supreme Court on 1 May 2009, finally disposed of the Godhra riot cases, except for the monitoring of nine major cases, that are also on the verge of conclusion. Her Interim Application making baseless allegations against the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and seeking its reconstitution proving unsuccessful, she found one more opportunity through Bhatt to achieve her nefarious objectives.

The same Bhatt, who claimed that he could not divulge anything even before the SIT since "he is under the oath of secrecy", sends copies of all applications made to the Enquiry Commission and the state government to Teesta Setalvad, and also his affidavit, which is prepared with her help.

Many mails indicate that Setalvad is tutoring Bhatt for his deposition before the Justice G.T. Nanavati and Justice A.H. Mehta Commission of Inquiry. Bhatt is constantly lamenting what he calls the "pathetic" performance of the Congress advocate during his deposition before the Commission, stating that he feels "under-exploited", meaning thereby the Congress advocate's cross examination did not exploit his complete potential to accuse the government further with his lies.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram is reported to have recently stated to the media that "he is 'glad' that senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt had the guts to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court accusing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in the 2002 Godhra case."

Mr Home Minister, do not get carried away by your Modi hatred, and irretrievably destroy the discipline and work ethics of the Indian Police Service under your ministry. Genies once out of the bottle can never be put back. And one day, they may get you.

This is the second of a two-part article on Narendra Modi and Sanjeev Bhatt

 
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