Ishrat Jahan case: SC to hear contempt plea against Chidambaram

The petitioner contended that by filing a false affidavit, the former home minister had committed contempt and perjury.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the writ petition seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against former home minister P. Chidambaram for filing a false affidavit in the Gujarat high court be listed for hearing.

A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Uday Lalit agreed to post the matter for hearing on a mention made by advocate M.L. Sharma, who has filed this petition in public interest. The petitioner contended that by filing a false affidavit, the former home minister had committed contempt and perjury. He also sought quashing of the false fake encounter case registered against Gujarat police officers, based on this affidavit.

Read: Chidambaram acted on Cong orders to target Modi in Ishrat Jahan case: BJP

He said that on February 11 he came to know about the judicial proceedings and the statement of David Headley, who conspired with the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, in which he declared that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan, who were killed in June 2004 by the Gujarat police were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill the then chief minister of Gujarat, Mr Narendra Modi.

He said that it is a judicial fact that all four persons, including Ishrat Jahan, killed by the Gujarat state police were terrorists. In June 2004, terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba assigned the job of killing Mr Modi to four members: Ishrat Jahan Raza, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra, Maharashtra, Javed Ghulam Sheikh (born as Pranesh Pillai), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar.

The Gujarat state police claimed that Ishrat Jahan and her associates were LeT operatives based on an affidavit filed by the IB in the Gujarat high court in August 2009 during an FBI interrogation that Ishrat Jahan was a fidayeen. However, this affidavit was changed in September 2009 at the insistence of Mr Chidambaram. It said Ishrat Jahan was not a terrorist. The Central government was not concerned with the merits of the action taken by the Gujarat police and anything stated in the (first) affidavit was not intended to support or justify the action of the state police. As a result, the Gujarat police officers are facing false cases.

Read: SC moved to initiate contempt against Chidambaram in Ishrat Jahan case

The petitioner cited the recent statement made by American-born LeT terrorist David Headley that he had shared the information that Ishrat Jahan was a member of LeT in 2010 with a four-member investigation team comprising officials from the National Investigation Agency, CBI, law officers and others. Former Union home secretary G.K. Pillai in an interview had blamed Mr Chidambaram for changing the affidavit at a political level. While seeking to quash the false case foisted against the Gujarat police officers, the petitioner prayed for initiating contempt of court proceedings.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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