Gujarat riots: Here are IPC sections under which FIR is registered against Teesta Setalvad, RB Sreekumar

A day after the Supreme Court passed its verdict in the Zakia Jafri petition, holding that the allegations of deliberate criminal conspiracy and inaction of the government officials during the 2002 Gujarat riots were based on “false statements”, the Gujarat Police has now registered an FIR and detained activist Teesta Setalvad and retired IPS officer RB Sreekumar.

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is currently in jail, serving a life sentence in a custodial death case of 1990.

The Supreme court in its verdict has rapped all three for falsifying evidence, and observed that the proceedings were pursued for 16 years to “keep the pot boiling, for ulterior design. As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of the process, need to be in the dock”.

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The bench had also noted that a detailed investigation by the SIT had shown that the statements given by RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt regarding the allegations of a deliberate decision by then Chief Minister Narendra Modi to allow the riots to continue, and the actions of senior officials during the riots were “false”. It also noted that Sanjeev Bhatt and former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya, who made such claims, had not actually been present in the meeting where the alleged decisions had been made.

The FIR filed by the Gujarat ATS also alleges that false statements by “witnesses” had been drafted by Teesta Setalvad and filed before the Nanavati commission set up to investigate the riots.

The ATS has now filed an FIR under sections relating to forgery, use of forged documents, falsifying evidence, and related offences. Since RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt were IPS officers at the time, the charges applicable to public officials for falsifying evidence have also been added to the FIR.

IPC SECTIONS IN THE FIR

Section 468- Forgery for purpose of cheating

Whoever commits forgery, intending that the document or electronic record forged shall be used for the purpose of cheating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 471- Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record

Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any document or electronic record which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged document or electronic record, shall be punished in the same manner as if he had forged such document or electronic record.

This means that the offence of section 471 will have to be read with the other charges of 468, and 194 for allegations of having used false statements of witnesses in the proceedings before the NHRC, Nanavati commission and in other police investigations relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Section 194- Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence

Whoever gives or fabricates false evidence, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any person to be convicted of an offence which is capital by the law for the time being in force in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine;

Section 211- False charge of offence made with intent to injure

Whoever, with intent to cause injury to any person, institutes or causes to be instituted any criminal proceeding against that person, or falsely charges any person with having committed an offence, knowing that there is no just or lawful ground for such proceeding or charge against that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both; 1 and if such criminal proceeding be instituted on a false charge of an offence punishable with death, [imprisonment for life], or imprisonment for seven years or upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 218- Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture

Whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, with intent to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, loss or injury to the public or to any person, or with intent thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or with intent to save, or knowing that he is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or other charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 120B- Punishment of criminal conspiracy

(1) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.

(2) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine or with both.

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