Gujarat riots: SC gives free hand to probe team

The Supreme Court Tuesday said it was open to the Special Investigating Team (SIT) to hold further investigation against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in the 2002 Gulberg society massacre.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2011, 23:48 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday said it was open to the Special Investigating Team (SIT) to hold further investigation against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in the 2002 Gulberg society massacre.

The court said this in the wake of the observation by court appointed lawyer (amicus curiae) Raju Ramachandran on SIT`s report on the Feb 28, 2002 massacre at the society in Ahmedabad in which 69 people were killed.
The apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Aftab Alam said: "It will be open to the SIT to consider further investigation, if considered necessary, in the light of the observation made by the amicus curiae and file a final report within six weeks."

"You go through the report. If you think further investigation is necessary. You conduct the probe. Do further investigation," the court told SIT chairman and former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R.K. Raghavan.

"If some more evidence is required to be recorded you may do it. We can`t brush aside the observation of the amicus curiae," Justice Jain told the SIT chairman.

The SIT was set up by the apex court to investigate post-Godhra Gujarat riots cases.

Justice Aftab Alam told Raghavan that "your inference do not match your findings".

The apex court was hearing a petition by Zakia Jaffri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri, seeking investigation into their alleged role of Modi, his ministerial colleagues, senior police and state administration officials in the Gulberg society massacre.
Her husband was also killed in the Gulberg society massacre during the 2002 riots. The SIT probe into the massacre was ordered by the apex court April 27, 2009.

However, the court took exception to the publication of the SIT report in a newspaper.
"We are shocked and surprised that we have asked it (the report) to be kept in a sealed cover and it is published," the judges said.

Senior counsel Shanti Bhushan pleaded that in public interest the report should be published.

IANS