Fact-check: Did PM Modi write a congratulatory letter to CJI after Ayodhya verdict?

A supposed letter written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi is circulating on social media. The said letter is dated on November 11 and reads, “Dear Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Let me begin by congratulating you and your bench Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan & Justice S. Abdul Nazeer for your stupendous contribution to Hindu Rashtra. Hindus will always be grateful to you and your team for your compendable and memorable decision, which will make a new history for Hindu Rashtra. I wish you and your family the very best for your future endeavours and once again congratulate you for this remarkable decision. Thank you for the wonderful support at this crucial time.”

The letter has been trending on social media, primarily on WhatsApp.

Alt News has receieved several requests to fact-check the image on WhatsApp.

MORPHED

As an official correspondence, the language used in the letter is inconceivable. Statements “Hindus will always be grateful to you and your team for your commendable and memorable decision, which will make a new history for Hindu Rashtra” and “Thank you for the wonderful support at this crucial time” are used to create a perception of conflict of interest within the government.

There is also a typo in the two-paragraph letter. The word ‘commendable’ is spelt as ‘compendable’.

Moreover, if the letter was truly sent by the Prime Minister it would have made national news. Alt News was unable to find any such reports in the media.

After performing a reverse image search on Google, we discovered a similar letter written by PM Modi to Gautam Gambhir.

On comparing both the letters, we spotted that the letter being circulated as “Narendra Modi writes a congratulatory letter to the Chief Justice” doesn’t have the saffron and brown border at the bottom. Nor does it mention the address of the recipient at the bottom, as seen in Gambhir’s letter.

Taking a closer look at both the letters, one can observe that the background texture in Gambhir’s letter is consistent throughout the letter, as highlighted below.

Letter received by Gautam Gambhir

However, the viral letter does not have a consistent texture. The textured background is only present where there are no words.

The letter which is being circulated as “PM India Narendra Modi writes a congratulatory letter to the Chief Justice”

The official Twitter account of the High Commission of India in Bangladesh shared a tweet on November 13 refuting the claims.

Based on visual analysis and lack of reports in the media, it is clear that the image circulated as “Narendra Modi writes a congratulatory letter to the Chief Justice” is inauthentic.

[This article was updated on November 14, 2019, to include to tweet of High Commission of India in Bangladesh.]

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