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May 29, 2011

Page: 22/37

Home > 2011 Issues > May 29, 2011

IPS Bhatt’s notary on Teesta NGO’s payroll
(Courtesy:The Pioneer)

GUJARAT has hundreds of notaries, but when it comes to choosing one, controversial IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt settled for a man who has been notarising affidavits of social activist Teesta Setalvad in post-Godhra riot cases against Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

On the face of it, there is nothing wrong in handpicking any notary. But inquiry by The Pioneer revealed that notary Sadikhusen R Sheikh was on the payroll of Teesta. From 2006 onwards, Sheikh was regularly paid Rs 7,500 per month salary from Teesta’s NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).

The notaries are appointed by the Government and they charge a fee for notorising any document. However, it is very unusual that they received monthly payment from anyone. The disclosure is significant in the light of the fact that Teesta is facing a criminal inquiry for allegations of manipulating the affidavits of the riot witnesses.

The cheques to Sheikh were sent by Teesta from CJP bank account No. 01410000105705 of IDBI Bank branch at Dharni Nivas, Plot No. 77, RK Mission Marg, Khar (W), Bombay. Teesta also made payment to Sheikh from her other NGO’s account “Centre for Education”.

The payments were stopped for two months when Teesta removed her close associate Rais Khan as chief coordinator of the CJP in January 2008. Sources said Sheikh’s payment was stopped under suspicion that he was too close to Khan. But after two months, Sheikh’s payment resumed when he reportedly convinced Teesta that he shared no relationship with Khan.

Sheikh, who notarised the affidavit of Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS, on 14/04/2011 (Sr. No. 631/2011) in which the IPS officer said Modi wanted the Muslims to be taught a lesson, notarised several affidavits for Teesta.

Before 2006, all affidavits filed by Teesta were notarised by another notary, YA Sheikh.

Sadikhusen R Sheikh also notarised the affidavit filed by one Imtiyaz Khan Pathan on November 11, 2010 in the Supreme Court against Rais Khan. Imityaz Khan had sought stay on an order of metropolitan court, Ahmadabad, on a petition of Khan to examine him as witness in Nerula gram riot case. Khan had alleged that many witnesses did not know the contents of the affidavits sent to him by Teesta for notarising before these were filed in the courts.

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