NEW DELHI: The mystery over the Ishrat Jahan files missing from the Ministry of Home Affairs further deepened on Wednesday after one-man inquiry panel concluded in its report that crucial papers were “removed knowingly or unknowingly or misplaced” in September 2009, when P Chidambaram headed the ministry.
According to the 52-page report submitted by Additional Secretary B K Prasad to Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, only one paper out of the five missing documents related to the fake encounter case has been found. “It is evident that the documents were removed knowingly or unknowingly or misplaced,” the report said.
The inquiry report said the files went missing during September 18-28, 2009 when the Chidambaram-led ministry decided to file the second affidavit in the case in the Gujarat High Court.The report has incorporated statements from 11 serving and retired officers, including former Home Secretary G K Pillai.
In the first affidavit, the ministry had given a clean chit to Gujarat police, claiming Ishrat and others were LeT terrorists while its second affidavit, filed on September 29, did a u-turn saying that intelligence inputs on Ishrat and three others killed in the fake encounter did not constitute conclusive proof and favoured a CBI probe into the killings.
The documents which disappeared from North Block include letters and enclosure sent by Pillai to Attorney General G E Vahanvati on September 18, 2009, office copy of another letter they exchanged on September 23, 2009, draft of the affidavit as vetted by the AG, draft of the affidavit amended by the Home Minister on September 24, 2009 and the office copy of the affidavit filed with the Gujarat court on September 29, 2009.
The only document which could be recovered during the probe was Pillai’s September 18, 2009 letter to Vahanvati, retrieved from a computer hard disk in the ministry.