BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Gujarat Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta has charged IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt under Information Technology Act with hacking of his e-mails. On Friday, Mehta filed a complaint with the police against his former friend Bhatt, who had accused CM Narendra Modi of complicity in the 2002 riots.
Mehta filed the complaint shortly before the Gujarat Government was to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court to defend two “unusual emails” found in Mehta’s personal mail account.
On July 26, in a petition filed before the Supreme Court, Bhatt said he had “chanced upon” two e-mails Mehta received from the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The SIT was constituted by the court to reinvestigate nine gruesome massacres during the 2002 riots.
“It was apparent that someone within the SIT was leaking confidential details,” he stated in the petition.
The same day, Bhatt submitted a 19-page affidavit before the court and produced the two e-mails Mehta received from the SIT. In the affidavit, he tried to establish how the Modi government was working to subvert the SIT investigation.
As proof, he produced e-mails exchanged between Mehta, Former State Home Minister Amit Shah, Modi’s Additional Principal Secretary GC Murmu, home department officials, RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy and lawyers Ram Jethmalani and Mahesh Jethmalani. The mails pertained to the riots cases, SIT and fake encounters.
Another bunch of mails, besides the 2002 riot cases, had also shown strategies devised for the legal defence in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Ishrat Jahan encounter killing cases, Bhatt claimed.
There was also an email from Gurumurthy forwarded to Modi following the latter’s interrogation by the SIT in connection with the Gulberg society massacre case, he claimed, adding that Gurumurthy had drafted the memorandum submitted to the President and Prime minister by BJP leaders like L K Advani and others.
Bhatt was already in trouble then with a criminal case lodged against him by a Gujarat police constable K D Pant who accused the IPS officer of putting pressure on him to testify against Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
While Bhatt sought a CBI inquiry into Pant’s complaint in the Supreme Court (SC), he also described at length how he stumbled upon “two very unusual” mails sent from the Godhra SIT’s official id (firstname.lastname@example.org) while checking travel details of a family holiday together.
In the SC petition, he claims to have got access with Mehta’s permission. But Mehta countered in a note sent to media that Bhatt was merely trying to “mislead” the court.
He defended that both mails, sent on September 14, 2009, pertained to status reports on the preliminary enquiry and investigation done in a entirely different case — the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Kauserbi fake encounter case and had nothing to do with the Godhra case.
This, he said would be the main thrust of an affidavit Gujarat intends to filed in the SC against Bhatt’s allegations of a “leak within the SIT.
Mehta, however, did not make his position clear on a second claim by Bhatt that he had found “several” other mails too. This, he alleged, revealed that an “unholy nexus” was at work.
Bhatt also claims that his mails have been hacked, too. He has filed a complaint in the Economic Offences Wing against “agents” of the Gujarat administrative machinery.
Among those are his e-mail exchanges with Gujarat Leader of the Opposition Shakti Singh Gohil, Teesta Setalwad, one of the main complainants in the post-Godhra riot cases, activists Shabnam Hashmi and Cedric Prakash and fellow IPS officer Rahul Sharma.