In U-turn, govt says nine of 2002 riots papers destroyed

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In a complete U-turn on its stand taken before the Gujarat High Court, state government on Friday told the Nanavati-Mehta Commission that of the 47 documents sought by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in connection with the 2002 riots, nine intelligence documents have been destroyed "in routine course".

This is in stark contrast to the recent statement by Advocate General on behalf of the government before the HC that the documents were not destroyed and would be provided to the Commission, if not given so far.

The Commission has asked the government to put it on affidavit that the said documents have been destroyed and kept further hearing on November 7.

The order was passed following a statement from the office of Additional Director General (intelligence) in this regard.

Bhatt has been fighting to get access to 47 intelligence and police documents from the state government to file a detailed affidavit before the Commission on the riots and the role played by different government functionaries during that period.

In one of the hearings at the Commission, the senior counsel for the government had stated that some of the documents sought by Bhatt were destroyed.

Subsequently, Bhatt, along with a voluntary organisation, had moved a petition before the HC demanding a direction to the government to produce the documents sought by him. In reply to that petition, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi had told the court that the documents were not destroyed and that it had already been supplied to the Commission. Trivedi had also said that if some documents were not furnished, then it would be provided to the Commission within seven days.Disposing of the petition on October 12, the HC had observed, "...the learned Advocate General has already stated before us that those documents have not been destroyed and at the same time, those have also been sent to the Commission and if any of those documents has not yet been sent to the Commission, the same would be sent within seven days..."

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