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Ishrat case: Former home secy counters Chidambaram's claims

March 01, 2016 13:48 IST

Former Union home secretary G K Pillai on Tuesday asserted that former Union home minister P Chidambaram never consulted him before revising the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case.

Pillai said that it was surprising to see that the minister, who is competent to revise the affidavit, was taking cover behind the home secretary.

"He is a minister and he is competent to revise the affidavit and he did that. The only question is whether he got it done in consultation with the home secretary? No. Whether he consulted with the Intelligence Bureau? No. He sat in his own office and dictated the draft and filed it. And the affidavit was approved by him and filed," Pillai said.

"The issue is why he is taking cover behind the home secretary and the IB for the revised affidavit. The revision was done by him," he added.

Taking responsibility for the second affidavit in the Ishrat case, Chidambaram had on Monday said that it was disappointing that Pillai was distancing himself from it.

"Which part of the second affidavit is wrong? I accept the responsibility for this affidavit. It is disappointing that the (former) home secretary, who is equally responsible, wants to distance himself from that," Chidambaram told the media in the national capital.

"It was brought to my notice that the first affidavit was filed without my approval and it was being misinterpreted. It was my duty to correct the first affidavit. So we filed a supplementary affidavit after consulting the then home secretary, the director of the Intelligence Bureau and other officers," he added.

Pillai served under home minister Chidambaram in 2009 when the government filed two affidavits in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

Chidambaram had earlier told a leading English daily that he felt it was possible to hold an ‘honest opinion’ in the Afzal Guru case and that the case was 'perhaps not correctly decided' and that there were ‘grave doubts about the extent of his involvement’ in the 2001 Parliament attack.

Ishrat Jahan, who was a resident of Mumbra near Mumbai, was shot dead along with three men on June 15, 2004, by the Gujarat Police in an encounter.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said that the home ministry is holding a comprehensive inquiry of the files and Chidambaram must be prosecuted for falsification of the affidavit.

"It is correct that the ministry of home affairs is now holding a comprehensive inquiry of the files and the falsification of affidavit as it is a very serious offence under the Indian Penal Code," Swamy said.

Citing Pillai, Swamy said ‘a civil servant acts on the orders of the ministers. He had put up a file, an affidavit which was then filed in the Supreme Court that was to be withdrawn by an alternative affidavit. And the appellation that Ishrat was an LeT operative, Chidambaram with his own hand struck it out. And what you expect Pillai to say?”

Swamy had earlier urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the attorney general to move the Supreme Court, seeking punishment for Chidambaram for allegedly giving false information in affidavits submitted in court in relation to the Ishrat case.

Source: ANI
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