On Sunday, former home secretary G K Pillai sparked a row after he told The Times of India that P Chidambaram – when he was home minister – got Ishrat Jahan’s link with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) dropped from an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in August 2009.
Pillai told TOI, “Mr Chidambaram, who was then the home minister, had asked for the file from the joint secretary, saying that the affidavit needed to be reworked. Only after the affidavit was revised, as directed by the minister, did the file come to me.”
While the original affidavit had cited IB inputs that Ishrat and her three aides — Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana — were part of LeT, the second affidavit did not refer to this link.
On Monday, Chidambaram on Monday told mediapersons that Pillai’s charges are “absolutely correct”.
He said, “I accept the responsibility.” He told the media that the second affidavit in the case was filed as the first was “ambiguous”, PTI reported.
He added, “The primary concern of the central government was input gathered by central agencies. Such inputs do not constitute a conclusive proof. It is for the state government to act. Central government does not condone nor endorse any unjustified action.”
Chidambaram also said that the second affidavit clarified what the real intention was. “The second affidavit says the central government did not address any issue relating to the merits or otherwise of the police action,” he said adding it was essentially concerned with dealing with allegations relating to intelligence inputs which were available with the Centre.
Chidambaram also expressed disappointment over Pillai distancing himself from the affidavit despite being “equally responsible”. To this, Pillai told TOI, “Since the file had come from the minister (Chidambaram) himself, I saw no reason in opposing the changes he had made.”
Meanwhile, the BJP is demanding to probe the matter. A senior home ministry official told TOI, “We are trying to locate files relating to Ishrat Jahan case. We are yet to get all files as some of these are yet to be traced.”