A judicial inquiry commission enjoys the powers of a civil court and can call for production of any document or requisition any public record, IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt said, contesting the stand of the G. T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta commission, which has already rejected his plea that the Gujarat government be directed to allow him access to certain confidential documents. He quoted Section 4 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.
Earlier, Mr. Bhatt wrote at least four letters, requesting the commission — probing the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra communal riots in 2002 — to issue directives to authorities to produce the documents available with the Director-General of Police, the Intelligence Bureau or the Home department to enable him to file a “comprehensive affidavit” in connection with the post-Godhra riots.
The commission, however, in a December 30, 2011 letter, informed him that it “has neither the power, nor does it consider it necessary or fit” to pass any such order.
In yet another letter on Wednesday, Mr. Bhatt said most of the documents he asked for were those which were either authored by him or had come to his notice as Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence in-charge of internal security on the then State Intelligence Bureau.
Production of these documents and others he submitted to the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team could unravel the “dubious role” of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and some of his Ministers in the communal riots, he said.
Mr. Bhatt also produced a copy of a fax message he had sent in the evening of February 27, 2002 to the then Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad, alerting the police to take precautionary measures to prevent an outbreak of communal violence in the light of the government's decision to bring to the city the charred bodies of the train carnage victims.
Mr. Bhatt has also written to SIT Chairman R. K. Raghavan, requesting him to share with the commission copies of documentary evidence he provided to the SIT.