The Gujarat government has admitted before Justice GT Nanavati Commission that some documents related to 2002 post-Godhra riots were destroyed by it 'in routine course'.
This was disclosed today in an order passed by the Commission on an application filed by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had sought inspection of certain sensitive documents pertaining to the riots.
In its order today, the Commission referred to the letter received from the office of Additional Director General (Intelligence) on October 18, 2012 which said, "Some of the documents sought for inspection have been destroyed in routine course and they are not available for producing them before this Commission".
Referring to the letter, the Commission today directed the state government to file an affidavit.
"A responsible officer of the Government should put this fact in an affidavit for final clarification," the Commission said.
With the state seeking time to file an affidavit till November 6, the Commission has scheduled further hearing in the case on November 7 when it may decide the question of relevance of those documents for examination by Bhatt.
Defending the government, counsel for the state government today argued that, "those documents were falling in the Category 'G' and it is a routine procedure not to keep them beyond one year."
Last year also, a senior counsel appearing for the state government had told the media that documents sought by Bhatt were already destroyed. The state government, however, had denied that documents were destroyed.
Responding to the state government's admission, Bhatt said today, "This is evidence of systematic effort to destroy sensitive documents pertaining to 2002 riots which can corroborate the complicity of the state machinery."
Bhatt, who alleged complicity of chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots, had sought inspection of certain documents to file an affidavit before the Commission probing the riots cases, in support of his allegations.
The Commission had denied him access to those documents. Bhatt then filed a PIL before the High Court last month which accepted his plea and allowed him access to those documents.
Incidentally, during the course of the hearing on his PIL, Advocate General of the state had assured the court that documents sought by Bhatt would be submitted soon.
When Bhatt sought access to 47 documents for inspection based on the court order, only 16 were produced and state has opposed the access to others by citing provisions of the Gujarat Police Manual.