Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said the Gujarat government could not defend itself and justify the June 2004 encounter killings, adducing the Centre's intelligence inputs as evidence or conclusive proof.

He was referring to the Home Ministry's affidavit, filed last month before the Gujarat High Court, on the June 2004 Ahmedabad encounter, in which Ishrat Jehan and three others were slain.

"Certainly no one suggested that based on an intelligence input you should kill someone. I think too much is being attributed to that affidavit, as if it is meant to defend the government of Gujarat against the excesses that may have been committed by its police. I am sorry for the government of Gujarat and the manner in which it runs its police administration."

A magisterial inquiry found that Ishrat and the other three were killed in a "fake encounter."

"To the best of my knowledge, the affidavit says that intelligence inputs were shared with the Gujarat government. That affidavit must be read in context. You cannot read into it what it does not say. I think it is self evident that intelligence inputs are not evidence, much less conclusive proof. They are just inputs. They are shared with governments on a regular basis. That is not evidence or conclusive proof. It gives leads to investigators for further enquiry," he said during a press briefing in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Centre is exploring the possibility of moving the Supreme Court against the Gujarat High Court's order staying the report of Metropolitan Magistrate S.P. Tamang and ordering initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him.

Law Ministry sources told TheHindu that discussions were on with top law officers on this issue and a decision would be taken in a day or two.

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