2nd affidavit in Ishrat case absolutely correct: Chidambaram

2nd affidavit in Ishrat case absolutely correct: Chidambaram

Unfazed by BJP's attacks, former Home Minister P Chidambaram today stood by the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, insisting it was "absolutely correct" and as the minister "I accept the responsibility".

Talking to reporters at the Congress headquarters, the former Finance Minister expressed disappointment over former Home Secretary G K Pillai distancing himself from the affidavit issue despite being "equally responsible".

Pillai had said the decision to change the affidavit was taken at the "political level". He also justified his remarks on the issue of hanging of Afzal Guru. "I was part of the government (at that time). How can I distance myself from the government?"

Replying to a host of questions on the affidavit issue, Chidambaram said that the second affidavit in the case was filed as the first was "ambiguous".

He said that it was his "duty" to correct the affidavit which was drafted without his approval and was being misinterpreted.

After consultations with the Home Secretary, Director, Intelligence Bureau and other officers, the second affidavit clarified what the real intention of the central government was, he said.

"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," he said.

Chidambaram wondered as to "which part of the second affidavit is wrong? It is an absolutely correct affidavit. As the minister,     I accept the responsibility."

"Disappointed that the Home Secretary who is equally responsible wanted to distance himself from it," he said in reply to a question regarding Pillai's remark.

When told that the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought all files in this connection, he said they are most welcome to do that.

Seeking to turn the heat on Congress, BJP has demanded a thorough probe into the alleged change of affidavits during the UPA rule in the Ishrat case and charged Chidambaram with saving the accused.

Chidambaram said 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.

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