The bullet-proof jacket worn by slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare during the 26/11 attacks was not meant for protection from AK-47 bullets, police told the Bombay High Court on Wednesday.
The order for such jackets was placed way back in 2001, when the 26/11-like situation was not anticipated, says an affidavit filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Vijaysingh Jadhav.
The jackets were meant for protection from nine mm pistol and carbine, and "not for AK-47 rifle and 7.62 SLR", according to the affidavit.
Similar jackets are still used even by the "military forces", police said.
Karkare, along with fellow IPS officer Ashok Kamte and Inspector Vijay Salaskar, fell to the bullets fired by Pakistani gunmen Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail from their AK-47 rifles on November 26, 2008.
A PIL filed by Santosh Daundkar, an activist, has alleged that Karkare died because of sub-standard jackets, and there was corruption in their purchase.
A total of 110 jackets were actually supplied by Machinery Sales Corporation and Ganesh Yarntext in 2004, though the tender was floated in 2001, police said.
"Parameters of the threat perception perceived by (Mumbai) Crime Branch then could not be equated with the threat perception which has arisen after November 26 incident," the affidavit by Jadhav said.
The petitioner may criticise the choice of vests "with the benefit of hindsight" but "none had anticipated in March 2001 that a situation like November 26 will arise," it said.
Karkare's post-mortem report says he did not die because of substandard jackets, the affidavit said, adding the "standard design" of the vest which he wore did not cover the neck and shoulder.
Petitioner's lawyer Y P Singh had argued at an earlier hearing that the senior police officer died because his bulletproof jacket left neck and shoulder areas exposed.