NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government is getting ready to prosecute former Home Minister and senior Congress leader Palaniappan Chidambaram for his alleged role in changing the “spirit” of the affidavit related to Ishrat Jahan, a Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) operative, who was killed by the Gujarat police in an encounter in June 2004. Sources said that the government will seek permission to prosecute Chidambaram, a Rajya Sabha member at present, from the Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu.

Chidambaram is accused of “illegally” changing the content of the affidavit that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), headed by him at the time, had filed on 6 August 2009 in the Gujarat High Court, stating that Ishrat was an LeT operative and the encounter in which she was killed was bona fide action. However, the MHA filed a “revised” affidavit on 29 September the same year, which was ostensibly drafted by Chidambaram himself, who is an experienced lawyer, stating that the content of the previous affidavit “needlessly misinterpreted” Ishrat’s link to LeT, thereby initiating a narrative that Ishrat was not associated with LeT.

Since then, several government officers, who were involved in the matter, including former Intelligence Bureau Special Director Rajinder Kumar, former Home Secretary G.K. Pillai and former MHA officer R.V.S. Mani have come on record to state that the content of the second affidavit, absolving Ishrat Jehan of  having any links with the terrorist group, was prepared done by Chidambaram without any official inputs and for “political reasons”.

In April 2016, Chidambaram, while sharing his thoughts on the Ishrat case, had tweeted that the demand to change the content of the affidavit had come from “Gujarat”.

“Although I have no recollection of seeing the first affidavit, let us presume that I did. Then came the report of Magistrate S.P. Tamang. This report caused an uproar and there was demand mainly from Gujarat that Government of India should clarify or dispel misinterpretation being placed on the First affidavit. This is why a second, short affidavit was filed!” Chidambaram had tweeted on 26 April.

The Sunday Guardian, in an earlier report (Manmohan ministers tried to implicate Modi in Ishrat case, 21 February 2016), had stated that a top Congress leader from a western state had written to the Prime Minister’s Office in the first week of September 2009, expressing dismay that because of the first affidavit, the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi could not be framed in Ishrat’s encounter. The Congress leader was unhappy that the MHA’s affidavit had placed on record that Ishrat was a terrorist.

Sources said that the second affidavit filed by the MHA in the case, in which it dropped the reference of the slain girl being a part of the terrorist module, was changed by the ministry at the behest of the top leadership of the Congress party, and the then UPA government. Man Mohan Singh’ PMO was kept in the loop on this.

According to an official, it was in the second week of September 2009, just weeks after the MHA had filed the first affidavit in the Gujarat High Court on 6 August 2009, stating that Ishrat was part of an LeT module, that the instructions to change the spirit of the affidavit was issued by the political leadership of the country and the PMO.

This was done after a senior Congress leader stated that the affidavit needed to be changed as the present affidavit, by mentioning that Ishrat was a part of LeT, had taken away the opportunity to grill the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in the case. The MHA then resorted to “course correction” and dropped the reference to Ishrat being a part of the LeT.

An official familiar with the case said, “After communications were received by the MHA from the top leadership of the Congress and the government, the file relating to Ishrat was sent to the Home Minister’s office on 23 September, after which the then Home Minister ‘amended’ the affidavit.”

“The most notable amendment was removing any statement that mentioned Ishrat being a part of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. It was then sent to the executive branch of the MHA, following which it was filed in the Gujarat High Court on 29 September. It was made sure that the same officer (Mani) filed the second affidavit, as filing the second affidavit through another officer would have raised eyebrows,” he added.

Replies to “Government gets ready to prosecute Chidambaram in Ishrat affidavit case”

  1. If politicians like Chidambaram had lived in any other democratic country, they would have been prosecuted in no time. If in any undemocratic nation, they would have gone down the grave yard. Only in India, due to judicious delay, the corrupt elements dare to speak

  2. Chidamabarams, Anthonys, Sibals, Pranabda and Mounmohan were entirely self-serving and their masters’ at 10 Janpath while also eating their shit and drinking pee without a shame. Time we see them behind bars lifetime.

  3. The trecherous Conspiracy and adopting the Criminal means&Frauds by thehigh office of Congress, was probably possible due to the criminal nature of the immoral,criminal minded,the then non – Indian top of head of Congress and virtually of this Country.

  4. The mills of divine justice …Dharma grind with extreme slowness but they grind fine….The man will pay for foul politics and loot.An educated thug….what the vile plot unroll.

  5. There is inordinate delay in the current Modi Government in pursuing the misdeeds of previous congress regime. No action has been taken on the issue for the past 3/4 years on the blatant lies which were perpetuated by PC & his cronies.I fail to understand why Modi government is moving at snails pace with just 2/3 months away from facing the elections .

  6. Yes, the opportunistic coalition leaders assembled in Kolkatta does not care about this as according to them this is faithful upholding of democractic values by PC, MMS and Sonia.
    There is no word to describe the treacherous act of PC. But if he starts lecturing in Media it would appear he is the most honest leader of the Country.

    1. Albeit I’m not affiliated to any political party I’m of the opinion, of late, Mr P Chidambaram, is not an honest politician but never cared to address the Middle Class Citizens and introduced Surcharge on Interest Amount charged by Credit Card Service providers! Also, I wish to know the Secret Activities of Vasan Eye Care! His policies were framed to help the riches to multiply their his regime! He can’t make any policy statement with keeping tongue in cheek!

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