Almost three years after Delhi Police started probing a case of “missing” documents in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter, the Crime Branch’s Inter State Cell (ISC) has moved an application, seeking permission to allow investigators to summon senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs for questioning.
The “missing” documents pertain to a second affidavit filed by the MHA under the UPA government in the Gujarat High Court on September 29, 2009. According to the police, these documents are: office copy of the letter and enclosure sent by then Home Secretary G K Pillai to then Attorney General (AG) G E Vahanvati on September 18, 2009; office copy of another letter sent by Pillai to Vahanvati on September 18, 2009; draft of further affidavit as vetted by the AG; draft of further affidavit as amended by then Home Minister P Chidambaram on September 24, 2009; and office copy of the affidavit filed in the Gujarat High Court on September 29, 2009.
The ISC moved the application for summoning MHA officials after the probe team met the officials concerned but could not get satisfactory answers, sources said.
The matter came to light in March 2016 after the inquiry led by Prasad started examining the Ishrat files in detail. “He had found that the documents laying the ground work for the second affidavit of September 2009 had gone missing during exchanges between the then home secretary (Pillai) and the then home minister (Chidambaram). He had concluded that the documents were never placed in the file at all, and they had gone missing between September 18 and September 24, 2009,” a senior police officer said.
MHA under secretary V K Upadhyay had written to the Delhi Police Commissioner on August 26, 2017 to file an FIR “into the matter of some documents from the file”, and the FIR was registered at Parliament Street police station on September 22 against unknown persons under IPC section 409 (for criminal breach of trust by a public servant).
The case was later transferred to ISC, and the investigation team reportedly met MHA officials several times to ascertain the sequence of events. “They were informed by the officials concerned that they had recorded their statements during an inquiry conducted by Prasad and they did not have any further information. Failing to get any extra information, the investigation team has now decided to summon them for questioning and record their statements,” an official said.