NEW DELHI: The Gujarat government today rubbished in the Supreme Court the claim of sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt that he was present at a meeting to discuss law and order situation during the 2002 communal violence at residence of the then Chief Minister.
"The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had come to the conclusion that the petitioner (Bhatt) was not present at all in the February 27 meeting," Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the state, told the court which reserved its verdict on the pleas of the dismissed IPS officer.
Bhatt had recently filed two interim applications seeking a SIT probe into allegation of misuse of state machinery during 2002 post-Godhra riots and the alleged roles of top BJP and RSS functionaries and some senior bureaucrats. The counsel for the state referred to the contents of various communications of Bhatt, then Deputy Commissioner (Security), and told the bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra that the officer was in constant touch with Congress leader and the then Leader of Opposition in Gujarat assembly and some top journalists.
"An unsolicited affidavit was tendered in the Supreme Court and that was an attempt to mislead the court," he said, alleging that Bhatt had showed an affidavit to a journalist who advised additions which were incorporated as well. The SG, assisted by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, alleged that Bhatt was in "constant touch" with certain Congress party leaders, activist Teesta Setalwad and top media professionals.
Earlier during the day, senior advocate Indira Jaising and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Bhatt, alleged collusion among top state government functionaries, the then Additional Advocate General, the then minister of state for home and some lawyers for the accused and sought court-monitored SIT probe into Bhatt's claims.
Jaising said that a SIT probe, instead of seeking CBI investigation, was needed to inquire into the "collusion of the highest order" as the then Chief Minister is now the Prime Minister and the then AAG is now the Additional Solicitor General of India.