June 2007 
Year 13    No.123

Crime and Punishment

The charge sheet  

On June 8, 2006, Zakiya Jaffri, widow of the late member of parliament, Ahsan Jaffri, sought to register a first information report (FIR) against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others, including cabinet ministers, senior bureaucrats and policemen, under section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Needless to say, the Gujarat police had failed to register such an FIR though cognisable offences have been made out therein. Therefore, on March 1, 2007 the complainant and Citizens for Justice and Peace jointly filed a writ petition in the Gujarat High Court asking the court to issue orders so that such an FIR may be registered. Moreover, given the state complicity at the highest level, they have demanded that the entire investigation is handed over to an independent agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

We list below the details of the criminal charges made out in the complaint and the petition. Due to constraints of space, some of these charges have been condensed here. Full details can be accessed at www.cjponline.org.

Details of offences with applicable sections of law

1. Criminal conspiracy and abetment to commit multiple offences of murder (Section 120 B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) read with (r/w) Section 114 (Abettor present when offence is committed) r/w Section 302 (Punishment for murder), Indian Penal Code (IPC)).

2. Furnishing false information (Section 177, IPC).

3. False statement made in declaration, which is by law receivable as evidence (Section 199, IPC).

4. Punishment for false evidence (Section 193, IPC r/w Section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952).

5. Giving false information about an offence committed (Section 203, IPC).

6. Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class (Section 295, IPC); Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs (Section 295 A, IPC).

7. Uttering, words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings (Section 298, IPC).

8. Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions (Section 186, IPC).

9. Omission to assist a public servant when bound by law to give assistance (Section 187, IPC).

10. Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (Section 153 A, IPC).

11. Criminal intimidation (Section 506, IPC).

12. Mischief causing damage to public property (Section 3, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984).

13. Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person (Section 166, IPC).

Accused No. 1: Narendra D. Modi, in 2002 and currently Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Evidence in support of the charges

1. Instructions to the director general of police (DGP), the chief secretary and other senior officials to give vent to the Hindu anger against minority Muslims in the wake of the Godhra incident. Meeting held in Gandhinagar on the evening of February 27, 2002, as testified in Affidavit No. 4 dated October 27, 2005 of additional director general of police (ADGP), RB Sreekumar, before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

2. The chief minister (CM)’s decision to bring dead bodies of those killed in the Godhra train fire to Ahmedabad and parade them in Ahmedabad city, as testified by Ashok Narayan, former addl. chief secretary, home department, in his cross-examination before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

3. Numerous illegal instructions given verbally to officials as detailed in Affidavit No. 3 dated April 9, 2005 of RB Sreekumar before the Nanavati-Shah Commission (Annexure F).

4. Evidence contained in Crime Against Humanity, Concerned Citizens Tribunal report, Gujarat 2002, by a panel of judges, Justices VR Krishna Iyer, PB Sawant and others, which included testimonies of officials and a cabinet minister of the state of Gujarat.

5. Positioning cabinet ministers, IK Jadeja and Ashok Bhatt, in the DGP’s office and Ahmedabad city control room respectively. DGP Chakravarti was critical of the minister, IK Jadeja, remaining in his office, as testified by RB Sreekumar in para 85 of his fourth affidavit before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

6. Transfer of officers from field executive posts in the thick of the riots in 2002 despite the DGP’s objections (as per media reports), to facilitate placement of those who were willing to subvert the system for political and electoral benefits.

7. Rewarding of senior officials with undue benefits even while their conduct is under scrutiny at the Nanavati-Shah Commission. The latest instance was the six-month extension as state vigilance commissioner awarded to Ashok Narayan, who has already completed two years in the above post-retirement placement. The orders were issued on July 28, 2006.

8. No follow-up action on the reports sent by RB Sreekumar on April 24, 2002, June 15, 2002, August 20, 2002 and August 28, 2002 about the administration’s anti-minority stance. Copies of these reports are appended in Affidavit No. 2 dated October 6, 2004 of RB Sreekumar before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

9. Indictment by the Supreme Court about the injustices carried out against the minority community and riot victims in the investigation of riot cases in respect of 1) the Bilkees Bano case, 2) the Best Bakery case.

10. Partisan investigations betraying prejudice against riot victims belonging to the minority community, as indicated by Rahul Sharma, the then superintendent of police (SP), Bhavnagar district, and now SP (CBI), Gandhinagar, during his cross-examination before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

11. The CM, Narendra Modi, did not visit the riot affected areas during the initial days of the violence though he visited the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002 itself.

12. The press statement by Narendra Modi that the reaction against the Muslim community was the operation of Newton’s law of action and reaction.

13. No direction from Narendra Modi to Hindu organisations against the observance of a bandh on February 28, 2002. (In 1997 and subsequently, the Kerala High Court has declared forced bandhs illegal; the 1997 verdict was even upheld by the Supreme Court.)

14. Delay in the requisition and deployment of the army although anti-minority violence had broken out on the afternoon of February 27, 2002 itself, in the cities of Vadodara, Ahmedabad, etc.

15. Appointment of pro-VHP advocates as public prosecutors in riot cases though as home minister (cabinet rank) the CM had the necessary means at his disposal to verify the credentials and integrity of these advocates.

16. Refusal to transfer officers from the grass root level, as per the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB)’s recommendation, until the arrival of KPS Gill as security adviser to the CM in May 2002. Gill ensured the above transfers and this led to a dramatic improvement in the situation, as indicated in RB Sreekumar’s second affidavit before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

17. No action taken against the print media carrying communally inflammatory reports although the SIB and some field officers had recommended such action, as noted in Affidavit No. 1 of RB Sreekumar dated July 6, 2002 and during his cross-examination before the Nanavati-Shah Commission on August 31, 2004. (It is the state home department that is empowered to give clearance for initiating action against the print media.)

18. The state home department provided misleading reports about normalcy in the state to the Chief Election Commission (CEC) so as to ensure early assembly elections. The home department’s assessment was adjudged as false by the CEC in its open order dated August 16, 2002. As per the register recording verbal instructions from higher echelons of government (the CM and others) maintained by RB Sreekumar, in his third affidavit before the Nanavati-Shah Commission it is noted that he was directed by home department officials to give favourable reports about the law and order situation so as to facilitate the holding of early elections.

19. State secretary, home department, GC Murmu, was presumably specially assigned to tutor, cajole and even intimidate officials deposing before the Nanavati-Shah Commission, to prevent them from telling the truth and harming the interests of the CM and the ruling party, as noted in RB Sreekumar’s third affidavit before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

20. GC Murmu’s mission was to try and ensure that officials did not file affidavits relating to the second term of reference of the Nanavati-Shah Commission, in particular, the role of the CM and other ministers in the riots.

21. Initiating no action against senior police officers, whose work is administered by the home department, for their grave dereliction of duty in the supervision of the investigation of serious offences as envisaged in Rules 24, 134, 135 and 240 of the Gujarat Police Manual-Vol. III, as noted in para 94 of RB Sreekumar’s fourth affidavit before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

22. Did not initiate departmental action against the then SP of Dahod district, SP Jadeja, for his gross misconduct and negligence during investigations into the Bilkees Bano case despite recommendations to that effect by the CBI which reinvestigated the case as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

23. Investigating officers in the Naroda Patiya and the Gulberg Society cases did not investigate the compact disc (CD) containing records of important telephone calls made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and police officers during the riots. Rahul Sharma, SP (CBI), had submitted this CD to the Nanavati-Shah Commission in 2004. In May 2007 the commission ordered an inquiry into this matter, as per media reports.

24. A situation conducive to the rehabilitation of riot victims has not been created, contrary to the claims made by the state administration in its reports to the National Human Rights Commission. Instead, riot victims were pressurised into compromising with the perpetrators of the violence as a condition precedent for their safe return to their homes and their rehabilitation.

25. Police inaction on investigating the roots and extent of the criminal conspiracy, linked to their participation in it.

26. No minutes or written notes of the meetings held by the CM and senior bureaucrats were issued, and instructions were mainly conveyed on the telephone. The non-issuance of such minutes/notes served the twin objectives of 1) Field officers carrying out the conspiracy of a pogrom against the minority and 2) Avoidance of subsequent monitoring of actions by jurisdictional officers in the field.

27. No action has been taken against officers like K. Chakravarti, then DGP; PC Pande, then commissioner of police (CP), Ahmedabad city; Ashok Narayan, then addl. chief secretary, and a large number of senior government functionaries who filed incomplete, inaccurate, vague and inadequate affidavits before the Nanavati-Shah Commission. Virtually no officer provided important documents relevant to the terms of reference of the commission as exhibits either in affidavits or during their cross-examination.

28. Slack review of post-riot cases, a review ordered by the Supreme Court in 2004. This was achieved by entrusting the work to those senior officers who were willing or constrained to act according to the political interests of the CM and the BJP.

29. Nepotism practised in postings, transfers, promotions, etc despite mounting vacancies in police departments so as to facilitate the ongoing subversion of the criminal justice system.

30. The fact that the main victims of the riots were Muslims, and the violence and police firing were targeted predominantly at the Muslim community will establish that rioters, the administration, cohorts of the ruling party (BJP), were working in collaboration to achieve the vile objectives of the CM. Statistics in this respect may be seen in RB Sreekumar’s second affidavit before the Nanavati-Shah Commission, particularly in para 3 of Appendix V therein.

The nature of offences detailed and the quantum of evidence delineated above categorically establish that the accused No. 1, Chief Minister Narendra Modi, had violated and has been violating his oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India. Further, through a series of preconceived, and pre-planned illegal actions, he carried out and has been pursuing actions challenging, violating and subverting the letter, spirit and ethos of the Constitution. This sinister design has been implemented by means of the malevolent use of the human and material resources under his command, by virtue of his position as chief minister. Activists, collaborators and supporters of the ruling party – BJP – and its feeder and sister organisations have been motivated, equipped and directed by the accused for the perpetration of crimes as listed above. In other words, the accused has been waging a war against the true sovereignty of the Indian nation, "We, the people", as etched in the first line of the Preamble to the Constitution of India. The deliberate acts of omission and commission by the accused, individually and through his active collaborators in the state administration and the BJP’s party bodies, violate the basic and inviolable structure of Indian polity as envisioned in the preamble to the Constitution.

From this perspective, the accused had and has been committing seditious acts, which had and will have a divisive, degenerative and debilitative impact on Indian society and on the unity and integrity of the Indian nation in the long term.

Acc. No. 2: Ashok Bhatt, in 2002, Minister for Health, currently Minister for Law and Justice, Health and Family Welfare, Legislative & Parliamentary Affairs, NGOs, etc.

Acc. No. 3: Indravijaysinh K. Jadeja, in 2002, Minister for Urban Development, currently Minister for Roads & Buildings, Capital Projects, Urban Development and Urban Housing.

Acc. No. 4: Prabhatsinh P. Chauhan, in 2002, Minister for Transport, currently Minister (MoS) for Tribal Development and MLA from Kalol, Gandhinagar district.

Acc. No. 5: Gordhan Zadaphiya, in 2002 an MLA and Minister for Home, currently an MLA from Rakhial, Ahmedabad.

Acc. No. 6: Ranjitsingh N. Chawda, in 2002 an MLA and Minister for Cottage Industries and Shri Vajpayee Swarojgar Yojna.

Acc. No. 7: Kaushikkumar J. Patel, in 2002, Minister for Energy and MLA from Shahpur, Ahmedabad, currently Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management.

Acc. No. 8: CD Patel, in 2002 an MLA from Petlad, Anand district, currently Minister (MoS) for Tourism, Holy Places & Pilgrimage Development (Ind. Charge), etc.

Acc. No. 9: Nitin R. Patel, in 2002 an MLA from Kadi, Mehsana and Minister for Finance.

Acc. No. 10: Amit A. Shah, currently Minister (MoS) for Home, Police Housing, Border Security, Jails, Prohibition, Excise (Ind. Charge) and Transport, and MLA from Sarkhej, Ahmedabad.

Acc. No. 11: Anil T. Patel, (of the Apollo Group) currently Minister (MoS) for Civil Aviation, Cottage and Salt Industry (Ind. Charge), Industry, Mines and Minerals, and MLA from Mehsana.

Acc. No. 12: Narayan L. Patel, in 2002, Minister for Transport (Ind. Charge), currently an MLA from Unjha, Mehsana district.

Acc. No. 13: Kalu H. Maliwad, in 2002 an MLA from Lunawada, former taluka Panchayat Pramukh, currently an MLA from Lunawada, Panchmahal district.

Acc. No. 14: Dilip M. Patel, in 2002 an MLA, currently an MLA from Anand Vidhyanagar, Anand district.

Acc. No. 15: Madhu B. Srivastava, in 2002 an MLA and currently an MLA from Waghodiya, Vadodara.

Acc. No. 16: Dr (Ms) Maya Kodnani, in 2002 and currently an MLA from Naroda, Ahmedabad.

Acc. No. 17: Nalin K. Bhatt, former General Secretary, BJP. Author of the party’s affidavit before the Nanavati-Shah Commission.

Acc. No. 18: Rajendra Singh Rana, in 2002 and currently MP from Bhavnagar. Spokesperson of the BJP.

Acc. No. 19: Dr Kaushik J. Mehta, Joint Secretary, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Gujarat.

Acc. No. 20: Dr Praveen Togadia, in 2002 and currently, International General Secretary, VHP.

Acc. No. 21: Dr Jaideep Patel, Gujarat Secretary, VHP.

Acc. No. 22: Babu Bajrangi Patel, Member, Bajrang Dal and VHP, Ahmedabad.

Acc. No. 23: Prof KK Shastri, Chairman, VHP, Gujarat unit, and Editor, Viswa Hindu Samachar.

Acc. No. 24: Babu Rajput, BJP worker, Ahmedabad.

Acc. No. 25: K. Chakravarti, in 2002, DGP, Gujarat, now retired.

Acc. No. 26: AK Bhargava, former DGP, Gujarat, currently Managing Director (MD), Gujarat State Police Housing Corporation Ltd.

Acc. No. 27: G. Subbarao, in 2002, Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat, currently Chairman, Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Acc. No. 28: Ashok Narayan, in 2002, Addl. Chief Secretary (Home), Government of Gujarat, currently Gujarat State Vigilance Commissioner.

Acc. No. 29: PC Pande, in 2002, CP, Ahmedabad, later transferred on deputation to the CBI, New Delhi, currently DGP, Gujarat.

Acc. No. 30: K. Srinivas, in 2002, Collector, Ahmedabad district.

Acc. No. 31: Dr PK Mishra, in 2002, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Chief Executive Officer, Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, currently Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Gujarat Government.

Acc. No. 32: Kuldeep Sharma, in 2002, Range In-charge, Ahmedabad Range, currently ADGP (Training).

Acc. No. 33: MK Tandon, in 2002, Addl. CP, Ahmedabad, currently Range Inspector General (IG), Surat Range.

Acc. No. 34: K. Nityanandam, in 2002, Home Secretary, currently, CP, Rajkot city.

Acc. No. 35: Rakesh Asthana, on deputation in 2002, from April 2002, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), CID-Crime, currently IG, Vadodara Range. Head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Godhra train fire.

Acc. No. 36: AK Sharma, in 2002, SP, Mehsana, currently IG, Ahmedabad Range.

Acc. No. 37: GC Murmu, Secretary, Home Department (Law & Home), Government of Gujarat.

Acc. No. 38: Shivanand Jha, Secretary, Home, Government of Gujarat.

Acc. No. 39: DH Brahmbhatt, Collector, Panchmahal district.

Acc. No. 40: Deepak Swaroop, in 2002, IG, Vadodara Range, currently, CP, Vadodara.

Acc. No. 41: Sudhir Sinha, in 2004, CP Vadodara, currently CP, Surat.

Acc. No. 42: K. Kumarswami, former Addl. CP, Vadodara, currently IGP (Intelligence), Gujarat.

Acc. No. 43: BS Jabaliya, District Police Chief, Anand.

Acc. No. 44: DG Vanzara, former Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Ahmedabad Crime Branch, (May 2002 to July 2005), former DIG (Border Range) and head of the Anti-Terrorism Squad. He was suspended and is currently in jail for his involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

Acc. No. 45: Rahul Sharma, in 2002, SP, Bhavnagar, and thereafter, DCP, Control Room, currently SP (CBI), Gandhinagar.

Acc. No. 46: Raju Bhargava, in 2002, SP, Panchmahal district, currently SP, Sabarkantha.

Acc. No. 47: (Ms) Anju Sharma, in 2002, Collector, Bharuch district.

Acc. No. 48: DD Tuteja, in 2002, CP, Vadodara city, now retired.

Acc. No. 49: Bhagyesh Jha, former Collector, Vadodara, currently Director of Information, I & B Department, Government of Gujarat.

Acc. No. 50: Nitiraj Solanki, in 2002, SP, Sabarkantha district.

Acc. No. 51: Amrutlal Patel, in 2002, Collector, Mehsana district, currently Collector of Administration, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Ahmedabad.

Acc. No. 52: Upendra Singh, in 2002, CP, Rakjot.

Acc. No. 53: PN Patel, in 2002, Collector, Rajkot district.

Acc. No. 54: VM Pargi, in 2002, DCP, Ellis Bridge Police Station, Ahmedabad, currently Addl. CP, Surat.

Acc. No. 55: KG Erda, in 2002, Police Inspector (PI), Meghaninagar Police Station, Ahmedabad, former PI-CID Intelligence, Viramgam, currently PI (Local Crime Branch), Valsad.

Acc. No. 56: KK Mysorewala, in 2002, PI, Naroda Police Station, Ahmedabad, currently, Reader to DIGP, Gandhinagar Range.

Acc. No. 57: MT Rana, Asst. Police Commissioner, G-Division, Ahmedabad city.

Acc. No. 58: Tarun Barot, PI, Ahmedabad Crime Branch.

Acc. No. 59: Narendra Amin, currently Asst. CP, Ahmedabad Crime Branch.

Acc. No. 60: GC Raiger, in 2002, ADGP (Intelligence).

Acc. No. 61: KR Kaushik, in 2002, ADGP (Crime) and later CP, Ahmedabad.

Acc. No. 62: Amitabh Pathak, in 2002, IG, Gandhinagar Range.

Acc. No. 63: Satish Verma, in 2002, DIG (Border Range), Kutch, currently with the SRP Training Centre, Junagadh.


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