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SC agrees to hear Bhatt's plea for shifting case outside Guj

The Supreme Court today sought Gujarat government's response to a plea by IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who had accused Narendra Modi of misusing state machinery against Muslims during 2002 post-Godhra riots, for transferring a criminal case against him outside the state.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 29, 2011 03:53 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Friday sought Gujarat government's response to a plea by IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who had accused Narendra Modi of misusing state machinery against Muslims during 2002 post-Godhra riots, for transferring a criminal case against him outside the state.

The plea pertained to an FIR lodged by a Gujarat state police constable in Ahmedabad alleging that Bhatt had pressurised him to sign an affidavit testifying that the officer participated in a high-level meeting after the Godhra carnage in which Bhatt had alleged he witnessed the chief minister's anti-Muslim bias.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and RM Lodha asked the Gujarat government and the centre to file their replies on Bhatt's plea by August 8, the next date of hearing.

In an affidavit to the apex court, Bhatt had alleged that he had attended a crucial meeting convened by chief minister on February 27 2002 after Godhra incident, in which Modi had instructed senior government officials to allow Hindus to "vent out their anger" during the clashes and wanted Muslims to be "taught a lesson".

The apex court, however, had declined to take Bhatt's affidavit on record.

Gujarat state police constable KD Pant had later filed a complaint against Bhatt accusing him threatening him and making him sign a false affidavit regarding the offcer's participation in the crucial meeting convened by Modi.

The registration of the case against Bhatt came as questions were raised by state government officials that Bhatt was still a superintendent-rank police officer and was not senior enough to attend the high level meeting attended by top government officials.

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