The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider a plea asking it to initiate contempt and perjury proceedings against former home minister P Chidambaram for allegedly facilitating a “false affidavit” and “concealing” facts about Mumbai teenager Ishrat Jahan, an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operative shot to death in an alleged fake encounter.
Filed by advocate ML Sharma, the public interest litigation also wants the court to pass a direction that police and security forces should not be dealt as an offender if they kill a terrorist.
Sharma mentioned his petition before a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, who told him that his petition would be listed in normal course. The petitioner did not impress upon the court for an urgent hearing.
Sharma had cited the recent testimony of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks conspirator David Headley -- member of the LeT – revealing that Jahan “was part of the organisation who was on a ‘botched up mission’.”
Headley told the court that LeT leader Zaki-ur-Rehman had told him about operative Muzammil Butt’s botched up operation in India. “It was some shootout with the police. I don’t know which part in India. But there was one female who was killed in the shootout,” Headley said.
A team of Gujarat police officials – facing trial for murdering Jahan in the alleged fake encounter – have defended their action stating the teenager was part of a four member team that hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Narendra Modi, then the state chief minister.
The shootout, they said, took place after the police received specific inputs from the Intelligence Bureau. The officers were, however, charged with murder after the Union ministry of home affairs denied sharing any intelligence inputs with the Gujarat police on Jahan being an LeT operative.
Sharma has referred to former Union home secretary GK Pillai’s recent interview holding Chidambaram responsible for the U-turn. Pillai said the former minister had summoned the files relating to the case and had withdrawn certain references to her alleged links with the LeT in the second affidavit filed in the Gujarat high court in 2009. In an earlier affidavit, the Centre had at that time stated that Jahan was part of the LeT group.