The Bombay High Court Monday admitted a petition filed by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the largest Islamic organisations, seeking Rs 10 crore in damages from the Mumbai police for leaking a report, meant for internal circulation, in 2013. According to the report, the Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO), a part of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, had been operating with the objective of “brainwashing college and school girls and training them for jihad”. Several newspapers had published the contents of the internal report after its leak.
Additional Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shivse, in an affidavit-in-reply filed last week, said that the “secret information” about the organisation was published in a “confidential” fortnightly report, between February 12 to 28, 2013, along with other information. “The confidential fortnightly report was for internal circulation in the police department and was not meant to be published in the newspaper or was not for general public at large,” the affidavit said.
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The affidavit added that the information was received by the Special Branch and consequently circulated among 37 police stations in Mumbai. “The same was not circulated to hurt the feelings of any person or individual or harm or disrespect religious feelings of any community or organisation,” the affidavit said.
The circular, issued in March, 2013, said: “The group GIO is related to Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and it was established in Kerala. The purported aim of this organisation is to make more and more Muslim women aware of their religion and the holy Quran. But the real objective of this organisation is to brainwash school and college girls and train them for jihad.”
Shivse, in the affidavit, clarified that a news reporter had got “unathorised” access to the confidential report, and despite efforts, it had been difficult to find the erring police official who had had leaked it. He also said that the newspapers distorted facts and reports published by them were different from what was circulated in the internal report.
“To trace out the source of the leakage, internal secret inquiry was conducted. However, it was difficult to trace or identify one culprit. Therefore, it was not possible to conduct a departmental inquiry against a specific person,” the affidavit said.