Gulberg case: Zakia Jafri’s plea deferred
A trial court here on Wednesday deferred its decision on a plea by Zakia Jafri seeking a copy of the voluminous SIT probe report on 2002 Gujarat riots.
Ahmedabad: A trial court here on Wednesday deferred its decision on a plea by Zakia Jafri seeking a copy of the voluminous SIT probe report on 2002 Gujarat riots.
There was confusion earlier with regard to the Ahmedabad metropolitan court’s ruling, as reports had claimed that the court had ordered the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team to provide a copy of the report to Zakia Jafri, who is the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
However, the court told Zakia Jafri’s counsel that it can give a ruling on the plea only after the SIT submits all the documents pertaining to the investigation before it.
The court today gave a one month’s time to the SIT, till March 15, to submits the documents.
A decision on providing the probe report’s copy to Zakia Jafri - the main petitioner in the case - would be taken only then.
While noting that the contents of the probe report were extremely sensitive, the court categorically rejected the arguments given by the counsels of two other petitioners – activists Teesta Setalvad and Mukul Sinha – seeking a copy of the SIT report.
The court said the report’s copy could only be given to Zakia Jafri, who is the main petitioner in the case. The SIT report won’t be given to Setalvad and Sinha since they are not the aggrieved in the case, the judge added.
The court, meanwhile, would rule on February 29 on another plea by Zakia Jafri, seeking permission for her counsel to read the report.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the court’s ruling, Sinha’s counsel said, “We have decided to approach the higher court against today’s ruling.”
The court today also adjourned till February 28 the hearing on pronouncing its decision on Chief Minister’s Narendra Modi’s alleged role in the Gulberg Society massacre during the 2002 riots.
The SIT report, which was submitted before the court in a sealed cover, is believed to have given a clean chit to Modi.
The SIT report, it is claimed, deals with all the cases investigated by the SIT, which include charges against the chief minister and over 50 individuals responsible for killing innocents in the post-Godhra riots.
Charges against Modi say that he allowed the dead bodies of karsewaks killed in the Sabarmati express in Godhra to be brought to Ahmedabad, that he deliberately delayed action and called in the Army too late. It is also alleged that he knew about the threat to life of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri but didn’t take any action, among others.
The SIT argued that the report — widely surmised to be a closure document on the Gublerg Society massacre — need not be made public to rights groups at the moment and that the court could decide on that later.
Meanwhile, it is still not clear whether the report filed by SIT gives a clean chit to Modi. The court is yet to examine the report.
Media reported last week claimed that the SIT has given a clean chit to Modi over his role in the 2002 riots that claimed over 1,044 lives.
The Supreme Court had asked the SIT to investigate whether the chief minister failed in his responsibilities and whether there was a larger conspiracy behind the 2002 riots.
The Supreme Court had then asked amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran to independently assess the SIT report.
The Supreme Court had on September 12, 2011, after going through Ramachandran’s report, had refrained from passing any order in the case and asked the SIT to submit its final report in the magisterial court in Ahmedabad.
The SIT almost took five months after the Supreme Court order to file its final report in the case.
The Supreme Court had asked the magisterial court to hear the petitioners before closure summary in the case, even if the report was in favour of Modi and others.
(With agency inputs)