Ahmedabad: A special court hearing the
2002 Gulburg society riot case on Tuesday reserved its order on an
application by some of the victims demanding that IPS officer
Sanjeev Bhatt be made a witness in the matter and examined.
The application was opposed by prosecuting agency SIT
and the accused in the case.
The victims have demanded that Bhatt, then DCP (State
Intelligence Bureau), be called as witness since the officer,
in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, had allegedly
divulged information about the post-Godhra riot at Gulburg
society here where 69 people, including ex-Congress Ehsan
Jaffery, were killed on February 28, 2002.
Special judge B J Dhandha, after hearing the arguments
of all the parties - the victims, prosecution and accused -
reserved the order for July 7.
Advocate Mitesh Amin, appearing for the accused,
submitted that the application was made with a mala fide
intention. The plea was devoid of merits and intended to delay
the trial in the over nine-year-old episode.
"There are serious doubts about the application at
this stage of trial when the prosecution was getting ready to
make final submissions in the case," Amin argued.
He further submitted that the applicants were
associated with NGO Centre for Justice and Peace, headed by
social activist Teesta Setalvad, hence their motivation for
filing the plea at this stage needs to be questioned.
Amin said the application should be entertained only
after the Supreme Court decides on Bhatt`s affidavit, in which
he has made serious allegations against Chief Minister
Narendra Modi in connection with the post-Godhra riots.
He maintained that the apex court has not yet taken
the IPS officer`s affidavit on record.
Counsel for the victims S M Vora said Bhatt, in his
affidavit, has stated that he had passed on the information
about the tension building up in Gulburg society on February
28, 2002 to the police officials and then Police Commissioner.
Bhatt, in his affidavit, has alleged Modi had asked
officers to allow Hindus "to vent out their anger" during the
clashes and he wanted Muslims to be "taught a lesson" in the
aftermath of the Sabarmati Express burning at Godhra.
Based on information in the affidavit, Bhatt should be
examined by the court as a witness, Vora demanded.
Special Public Prosecutor in the case R C Kodekar
opposed the application, contending that investigation was
still on by the SIT and the apex court has asked the amicus
curie in the case to examine the SIT report and talk to
He further said the since the SC was seized of the
matter the application cannot be entertained at this stage.
There are 66 accused in the riot at Gulburg, site of
one of the worst incidents of communal violence in 2002.