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Bhatt vs Gujarat govt: Hacked email vs email

It was Bhatt who approached SC about the mails which,he claimed,were from an insider in SIT.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi/ahmedabad |
August 6, 2011 2:59:37 am

Shortly before the Gujarat government is to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court to defend two “unusual emails” found in Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta’s personal mail account,the law officer has gone ahead and charged his former friend and IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt under the Information Technology Act with hacking his personal mail.

It was Bhatt who approached the SC about the two mails which,he claimed,were from an insider in the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team who was leaking vital investigation details of the 2002 post-Godhra riots probe to the accused through Mehta.

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 SC,he also described at length how he stumbled upon “two very unusual” mails sent from the Godhra SIT’s official id (sit.godhracases@gmail.com) while checking travel details of a family holiday together.

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In the SC petition,he claims to have got access with Mehta’s permission. But Mehta countered in a note sent to The Indian Express 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.

These mails showed correspondence between S Gurumurthy,the RSS ideologue,former home minister Amit Shah,his counsel Ram Jethamalani and Mahesh Jethmalani,in addition to officials from the Gujarat Home Department like Home Secretary G C Murmu,Under Secretary Vijay Badheka and others.

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.

Another mail annexed is to Mahesh and Ram Jethmalani and Amit Shah in which Gurumurthy says that it is distinctly possible that SIT may submit a “wishy washy report” ,which could point to “commissions and omissions not amounting to crime”,it could lead to “a huge debate again on Modi”,and therefore the Zakia Jaffri complaint must be got quashed.

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.

In one of the mails with Gohil,Bhatt shares details of an affidavit he had filed before the SIT. He adds that a backgrounder and an “additional note” has also been sent. He mentions how he is “eagerly awaiting both the packages” and “the Blackberry”.

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