Ahmedabad, Mar 31 (PTI) Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma has told an SIT court here that an application moved to make him an accused in the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case is “erroneous”, an attempt to “delay the trials” and “deserves to be dismissed”.
Chetan Shah, the lawyer of the accused, had sought that Sharma be made an accused in the case for allegedly destroying an original CD that contained call details of ministers, bureaucrats and police officials during the 2002 Gujarat riots and was considered as electronic evidence in the case.
In his reply on March 28 in the SIT court hearing the Naroda Gam case, Sharma has stated that the application is “erroneous, both on facts and in law, and is, therefore, not maintainable and deserves to be dismissed”.
He has stated that the existence of the CDs would not have been known had he not told the Nanavati-Shah Commission, inquiring into the Gujarat riots, about those on October 30, 2004.
“Had I not disclosed the information about the existence of the CDs, such crucial data would have escaped the attention of the Nanavati-Shah Commission as well as the investigating agency…the entire investigation in respect of the CDs would not have been possible and the information contained in the CDs would have met a quiet death,” he has said.
Sharma has contended that he is protected under section 6 of the Commission of Inquiry Act from any civil or criminal proceedings. The said section states that “no statement made by a person in the course of giving evidence before the commission shall subject him to, or be used against him, in any civil or criminal proceedings”.
Sharma has also cited a January 22, 2016 Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order, quashing a chargesheet filed for disciplinary departmental proceedings against him for misplacing the CD.
An application filed by the state government against the CAT order was also rejected, he has said.
Sharma has also said the state government has not granted sanction to prosecute him under section 319 of the CrPC.
He has also sought contempt proceedings against the lawyer for the accused, who had moved the application, seeking his arraignment.
The CD, containing the call details of ministers, bureaucrats and police officers during the 2002 riots, was seen as an important piece of evidence, detailing the location of the accused in various post-Godhra riots cases, including that of Naroda Gam.
Sharma, a 1992-batch IPS officer, had voluntarily retired from service in 2015.
Eleven persons from the minority community were killed in the Naroda Gam locality of Ahmedabad by a mob on February 28, 2002, a day after the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was charred, leaving 59 people dead.
In 2009, the SIT had filed the chargesheet in the case and arraigned 83 people as accused, including then Gujarat minister, Maya Kodnani of the BJP.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.