Letter to Chief Justice of India
Date: February 18 2004
The Honorable Chief Justice of India,
Justice V N Khare.
It is with a deep sense of pertevation that we, the Citizens for Justice and Peace, wish to bring to your attention a disturbing development relating to our struggle for justice and reparation to the victims of the Godhra arson and the post Godhra carnages all over Gujarat.
It has come to our notice today that none less then Shri P C Pandey, former commissioner of police, Ahmedabad has only recently been appointed to the post of Additional Director CBI in the Central government.
It is the timing of this appointment that makes us anxious. We are petitioners in several matters related to compensation, justice and accountability both in the Gujarat High Court, Sessions Court Ahmedabad and this Honorable Court.
One of the critical matters that we have been handling is the Gulburg society massacre where over 60 innocents were brutally massacred in broad daylight in an attack that lasted 7 hours. Meghaninagar where Gulburg society is located is within Ahmedabad city. The late Shri Ehsan Jaffri was one of the unfortunate victims in this massacre.
Shri PC Pandey who has now been appointed as Deputy Director CBI was Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad on that fateful day and even visited Shri Jaffri at 10.30 a.m. on that day. It was due to his visit and arrival that re-enforcements would soon be sent that all residents of Gulburg society did not vacate their homes. If they had, they would have lived. Alas, no reinforcements arrived and the rest, as they say, is sordid and tragic history. Naroda Gaon and Patiya too, where over 110 persons were butchered in another daylight masterminded carnage (that also lasted several hours) too comes under the jurisdiction of Commissioner of Police Pandey at the time.
Eyewitness statements and fact-finding reports have directly indicted Shri PC Pandey for his failure to follow the dictates of his uniform and India’s Constitutional Mandate.
For a man who’s career stands tainted by his utter and complete failure to give protection to innocent persons under his jurisdiction, for a man against whom neither the Gujarat government has lodged a departmental inquiry --nor the Centre raised questions about this laxity and failure—to be appointed as Deputy Director of the CBI in the midst of the ongoing gruesome investigations being conducted by this agency itself causes deep apprehensions and raises suspicions.
Incidentally the prayers and reliefs demanded by many petitioners before the Honorable Supreme Court include transference of investigation into the Godhra and post Godhra carnages to CBI. If this agency is filled with hose officers from Gujarat who’s reputations were besmirched in their handling of the carnage, what confidence can such an agency have? For such an appointment, moreover to be effected at a time when matters are being heard in the SC also makes the issue shocking to say the least.
The fact that the party in power in Gujarat is also the same as the one that dominates the NDA alliance at the Centre and is also the same party to whom the Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani—who handles the Home Portfolio and who, therefore okayed this controversial and shocking appointment is also no coincidence. Shri Advani wins his election from Gandhinagar Gujarat and is on the verge of fighting another term from there.
In the interests of justice, justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. We take deep exception to this appointment, felt it right that we bring it to your notice today and we may actually also be challenging it in court.
Citizens for Justice and Peace