The G.T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta Judicial Enquiry Commission probing the post-Godhra communal riots, on Wednesday directed the Gujarat government to file a report within 10 days on riot-related intelligence department records, which are said to have been destroyed.
The directive was issued by the Commission on an application by the Jan Sangharsh Manch, a voluntary organisation that represents the riot victims before the Commission, following claims by State government pleader S.B. Vakil that some of the intelligence department records on the 2002 communal riots were destroyed in 2007 as per “standard procedure.”
The Commission, which was hearing the Manch application, directed the Additional Director-General of Police (Intelligence) to file a report within 10 days detailing specific records of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), which were destroyed and those which were still available. The Commission said orders on the Manch application would be issued after the ADGP filed his report.
Mr. Vakil created a flutter last week by claiming before the media that some of the documents, particularly relating to the SIB's telephone registers, the police vehicle log books and officers' movement diaries covering the 2002 riots, were no longer available as they were destroyed in 2007 following the “standard procedure.”
The Manch moved the application before the Commission on Monday seeking directions to the State government to clarify whether the SIB records had been destroyed.
Stating that “the documents in controversy can have a direct bearing on the reference pending before the Commission for enquiry,” the Manch pleaded that the Home Secretary be directed to file an affidavit stating which specific records were destroyed covering the period February 27-May 31, 2002.
It also sought fixation of responsibility on the officer who gave the orders to destroy the documents and the reasons for doing so. “The government should also state and produce the certificate of actual destruction of the documents so destroyed,” the Manch demanded. It also wanted to know whether documents or records of the office of DGP and the State control room as well as the offices of Police Commissioners of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot and their city control rooms for the same period were also among those destroyed.
The Manch sought a directive to the State government either to produce the necessary records or permit inspection of all the log books of the vehicles used by DGP K. Chakravarthi, ADGP G.C. Raigad, the then IGP, O.P. Mathur, Ahmedabad Police Commissioner P.C. Pande, the then Deputy Commissioner of the Intelligence Bureau, Sanjiv Bhatt, and some other police officers.