The Gujarat High Court has askedthe state government to produce original registers, related to vital intelligence records of 2002 riots, which were destroyed by it.
A division bench of High Court, headed by Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and JB Pardiwala on Friday asked the state government to produce the original registers from which the records were destroyed.
The court had in October last year asked the state to hand over certain documents to suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt so as to allow him to depose before the Justices Nanavati-Mehta Commission which is probing the 2002 riots. The documents pertained to the time period from February to November 2002.
Bhatt had sought the documents from the state government to file a detailed affidavit before the Commission regarding the alleged roles played by different government personnel during the 2002 riots.
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi had then told the court that the documents were not destroyed and would be produced before the Commission within seven days if they had not been produced so far.
Subsequent to their submissions before the court, the state government made it clear before the Commission that nine out of the 47 documents sought by Bhatt had been destroyed by it in "routine course", while producing 15 others and terming the remaining ones as being traced or not maintained or marked as 'classified'.
In November 2012, the state had moved an application before the High Court, seeking modification or clarification of the October order that was passed on the basis of the statement of the Advocate General.
The application was, however, opposed by civil rights organisation People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and Bhatt.
One of their counsel, Anand Yagnik, argued the state government's stand was contrary to its own circulars to maintain records related to communal riots apart from alleging interpolation with the government records.
Further hearing in the matter has been scheduled for September 17.