Gujarat riots: Plea against SIT clean chit to Modi, others adjourned till January

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, Dec 3: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till January the hearing on a plea by Zakia Ahsan Jafri challenging clean chit to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for their alleged inaction in the 2002 post-Godhra riots including an attack on Gulberg society.

Zakia Jafri — widow of Congress leader and former member of Parliament Ahsan Jafri — has challenged the Gujarat High Court order upholding clean chit to Modi and others by SIT.

The bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Hemant Gupta directed the posting of the matter to the third week of January as senior counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Jafri told the court that they wanted to file some additional documents and needed time.

The SIT, on November 19, while raising preliminary objection to the Zakia Jafri’s plea had opposed it, saying “it is an issue of facts and for how long it can go on”.

The court was also told that there were concurrent findings of the magistrate court and the high court as well rejecting Zakia Jafri’s plea.

Jafri has challenged the October 5, 2017 order of the Gujarat High Court upholding the magistrate court order rejecting Jafri’s protest petition challenging the SIT report giving clean chit to top political leaders and state functionaries for the alleged larger conspiracy.

The SIT was set up by the top court, and it had come to the conclusion that no case was made out and the same was accepted by the Magistrate and the finding was “erroneously” reiterated by the high court, says the petition by Jafri.

The petition has further said that the high court refused to interfere with the Magistrate court order “despite large amount of documentation and contemporaneous evidence that existed which made out a triable case against all the accused”.

The petition by Jafri says that she had levelled allegations against various bureaucrats, police officers and political leaders for alleged “conspiracy, abetment and hate speech” culminating in 2002 violence.

Petitioner Jafri has referred to the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002, resulting in the death of 59 kar sevaks at Godhra railway station.

She said this was “presumed to be a communal attack against the Hindus and this culminated into a reprisal against the Muslim community leading to orchestrated violence and targeted killings”.

Jafri’s petition says: “As contemporaneous official data began to be released, including the intelligence collected by the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), it transpired that the SIB had information about systematic movements of kar sevaks and accumulation of arms, which was ignored and facilitated by inaction.”


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