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Ashish Khetan Letter Petition Bombay HC

Ashish Khetan Letter Petition Bombay HC

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Published by Bar & Bench
Ashish Khetan Letter Petition Bombay HC
Ashish Khetan Letter Petition Bombay HC

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Bar & Bench on May 19, 2013
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05/19/2013

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 To, The Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Court of Bombayand His Companion Justicesof The High Court of Bombay.Respected Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court of Bombay,
1.
I am a journalist of 12 years standing. I workedwith the well known magazine Tehelka for 4 years.During that period, I authored investigative reportson many important cases including those arisingfrom the Gujarat riots of 2002, such as the NarodaGaon, Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Societymassacres and the Best Bakery carnage. Myinvestigative reports have received acclaim, andhave also been used by investigators and thecourts of law. In 2007 after my investigative reporton the Gujarat riots was published widely, theNational Human Rights Commission (NHRC)ordered an enquiry into the revelations in myreport containing approximately 60 hours of videofootage . On the orders of the NHRC, the tapeswere tested by FSL, Jaipur and were foundcompletely authentic and tamper-free. Subsequentto the publication of my investigations (or ‘stingoperation’, in common parlance) in October 2007,the Supreme Court constituted a SpecialInvestigation Team (SIT) to re-investigate many
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cases pertaining to the Godhra and post-Godhrariots. SIT cited me as a prosecution witness inthree major riot cases. My testimony in this regardhas been relied upon by the trial court in theNaroda Patiya case and several convictions werebased on my evidence. I attach as
ANNEXURE I ,
an excerpt of the judgment passed in the NarodaPatiya massacre case referring to my testimony.Meanwhile, I have testifed as a prosecutionwitness in the Naroda Gaon and Gulberg Societycases, the verdict in which is awaited.
2.
After my ‘sting operation’ in the infamous BestBakery case, the Supreme Court constituted aQuasi Judicial Committee headed by the thenRegistrar General, Supreme Court, which toofound my investigative reports authentic andtrustworthy. Many of the findings of the committeewere based on my report alone. A copy of inquiryreport submitted by the then Registrar GeneralMr. BM Gupta dated 27.05.2005 is Annexed heretoas
ANNEXURE II.
It was, inter-alia, my reportageon Hindutva terror groups that catalysed theinvestigation in the Malegaon blasts of 2006, theSamjhauta Express blasts, the Ajmer Sharif blastsand the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts. As aresult, the innocent persons hitherto arrested forthese outrages were released on bail and theprosecution turned to those now believed to havebeen actually responsible for these terror attacks.
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3.
I am approaching your Hon’ble Court by this letterpetition in public interest, for my recentinvestigative efforts as a journalist have led to aclear and compelling picture of the deliberateframing of Muslims, (--most of them very youngand very poor--) in terror cases by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra. Theconsequences should shock anyone with aconscience. In one case known as Pune GermanBakery Blast Case, the drastic death sentence haseven been pronounced by the trial court. Thematter thus is of great moment and equally greaturgency.
4.
For more than a year I have been researching theinvestigation of terror cases by the ATSMaharashtra. Sporadic press reports haveappearedabout conflicting versions given bydifferent police agencies on the same cases. Thisaroused my interest and I set about carefully andslowly unearthing material on the matter. Myresearch has shown that at least in three casesprosecuted by ATS Maharashtra, namely the July11 2006 Mumbai local train blasts, the 2006Malegaon Blasts and the Pune German Bakerycase of February 2010, the ATS has deliberatelycreated bogus evidence, extracted falseconfessions by the most inhuman torture, plantedexplosives in the houses of the accused and thusimplicated innocent Muslim youth.
5.
I have, what would certainly be compelling if notfoolproof evidence of the deliberate faking of 
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