Gandhinagar: Senior Gujarat police officer Rahul Sharma, who has reportedly been suspended by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on grounds of indiscipline, on Thursday moved the state high court against denial of information he needed to reply to a show cause notice served on him by the state government in February.

He has been hauled up for giving without permission information to a judicial panel probing the 2002 Gujarat riots. The matter is slated to come up for hearing on Friday.

According to reports, Narendra Modi has cleared the chargesheet against Sharma. He is the second top cop after Sanjiv Bhatt who has faced suspension.

Sharma's lawyer Mukul Sinha said the government has been stonewalling all efforts by the officer to get information necessary to file a reply to the show cause notice.

'He has sought information through his own department's disciplinary authorities as well as through the RTI (Right to Information) but to no avail,' Sinha added.

The lawyer alleged: 'The official strategy was first to serve show cause notice, then deliberately deny requisite information needed to file a reply, then charge sheet him.'

Sharma had sought information from Balwant Singh, then additional chief secretary (Home), a public information officer under the RTI, and Director General of Police Chitranjan Singh.

The public information officer refused him information under the RTI on the pretext that information cannot be shared with a person undergoing disciplinary enquiry.

Sharma is facing disciplinary action by the government for providing key call details during the 2002 communal riots that followed the Godhra train carnage to the Nanavati-Mehta judicial inquiry commission appointed by the Narendra Modi government to probe the incidents.

The proposed action against him was cleared at the highest level in the state, sources said here.

Sharma was posted as the district superintendent of police in Bhavnagar during the riots. His prompt action ensured that the district and town remained unscathed. He was immediately transferred thereafter to the police control room in Ahmedabad.

In May 2002, he was ordered to assist the investigations into the Naroda Patia massacre case in Ahmedabad wherein he collected the call data for all key numbers during the period of rioting.

He was subsequently transferred.

The data Sharma provided to the judical commission, on hindsight, has proved to be damning evidence of the call traffic between key elements who led the riots, including political leaders, and those in important positions in the state government as well as the police.

Sharma handed over copies of CDs of the call records to the Nanavati-Mehta commission probing the 2002 Godhra train carnage and the riots that followed it when he was summoned to depose before it.

Nanavati against quizzing 3 ex-bureaucrats

The Nanavati Commission on Thursday changed its decision to question three former bureaucrats in connection with the deposition of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt before the panel, following objection by an NGO.

Last week, the Commission had summoned five bureaucrats as witnesses, who according to Bhatt were present during the meeting called by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the evening of February 27, 2002.

Jan Sangarsh Manch, representing some riot victims, had objected on the grounds that retired IAS officer Ashok Narayanan, who was additional chief secretary in 2002, then DGP K Chakravarthy (now retired) and retired IPS officer P C Pande who was then Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad, have already been examined by the Commission.

It contended that Chakravathy, Narayanan and Pande, have already recorded their statements with regard to the February 27, 2002 meeting and have also filed their respective affidavits before the panel six years ago.

So, if the issue has been dealt with, there cannot be re-examination of the witness on the same issue, it had added.

The Commission while accepting the contentions raised by the NGO decided to recall its decision to question Chakravathy, Narayanan and Pande.

However, the other two -- IPS officer K Nityanandam, who was secretary home in 2002, and IAS officer Anil Mukim, who was then principal secretary to Modi -- would be questioned as scheduled on August 18 and August 29 respectively.

Nityanandam is currently MD of Gujarat Police Housing Corporation, while Mukim is on Central deputation.

(Agencies)