Chidambaram admits to small editorial changes in Ishrat Jahan's files, says missing files vetted by AG

| Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 14:17
First Published |
Chidambaram, Ishrat Jahan

New Delhi: Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday admitted to having made "editorial" changes to the affidavits filed in the Ishrat Jahan case. 

Chidambaram was replying to a question at the launch of a book "Standing Guard - A Year in Opposition" written by him at a hotel in Mumbai.

"Tell me which part of the affidavit is wrong; which sentence of the affidavit is wrong. Nobody is alleging against me. The officer who said that he did not know anything about the affidavit, is on record in Guwahati in July 13, 2013 saying that the second affidavit was perfectly justified," Chidambaram said.

"He has changed his view. In a free country, a person is entitled to change his view. The second affidavit was vetted by the attorney general of India. No part of the second affidavit was wrong," he added.

While addressing the press conference, Chidambaram turned into the then Union Home Secretary GK Pillai saying he has seen the papers pertaining to the issue of Ishrat Jahan's case at least thrice. 

Why the questions that can call the ex-bureaucrats bluff are missing from the affidavit, asks Chidambaram. “To whose advantage is vetted draft missing? I want the draft vetted by the AG. I think the mystery has been unravelled now," Chidambaram further said.

"It was drafted, went to the attorney general, and came to me. I, with a compulsive habit of all lawyers, made small 'editorial' changes. This is a habit of all lawyers. Any lawyer would put a comma here and there or strike out a word."

"I don't think any of the files that came to me went back without making a change. That is a habit to make small changes here and there. Then the file went back to the home secretary. The files passed the home secretary's table at least three times," the former home minister said.

Former home secretary GK Pillai also made a claim that there was "political interference" in the case which led to the deletion of reference to Lashkar-e-Taiba from the revised affidavit filed in 2009.

On March 10, the Home Minister had told the Lok Sabha that "two letters from the then home secretary to the attorney general in 2009 have gone missing. The then attorney general had vetted two affidavits regarding the case. Those are also not available".

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today ordered an 'internal inquiry' to probe how files concerning the affidavits filed in the Ishrat Jahan case have gone missing.

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