Modi can be questioned in riots case: Gujarat HC

Last Updated: Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 00:18

Zeenews Bureau

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Friday dismissed a petition challenging the probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT) against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in a post-Godhra riots case.

Justice D H Vaghela dismissed the petition filed by former BJP MLA Kalu Malivad (one of the 62) stating that no relief could be granted in the case as the SIT was directly
working under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

After the High Court ruling, it is now clear that the SIT - constituted by the Supreme Court - is now empowered to question the Chief Minister and 62 others accused.

The particular case was filed by Zakia Jaffrey, whose husband ex-MP Ehsan Jaffrey was killed during the 2002 riots in Ahemdabad’s Gulburg society along with 39 others.

She has alleged in her complaint that Modi, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided the post-Godhra riots of 2002.

Malivad`s lawyer S B Vakil had submitted that Zakia`s complaint was "vague where allegations have been made against high profile people".

He said that SC had ordered SIT to "look into" the complaint which does not empower it to conduct investigation.

Appearing on behalf of the SIT, senior counsel K G Menon had countered the points raised in Malivad`s petition by submitting before the court that as per the Supreme Court
order their job was to find out the truth with regard to the allegations made in Zakia`s complaint.

And as the apex court order had stated that SIT needs to take necessary steps as per law, "a preliminary inquiry in the matter was permissible, which we are doing," Menon said.

He had further submitted that they were conducting a preliminary inquiry permissible as per the apex court`s order, and the report will be submitted to the court.

And only after a cognisable offence is disclosed following the preliminary inquiry that SIT shall register a case and then proceed for investigation, he added.
Congress today welcomed the
decision of Gujarat High Court dismissing a petition which
sought stay on the Special Investigation Team (SIT)`s probe
against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in
connection with the Godhra riots case.

"It`s an important development. With this decision of
the High Court, Modi government is gradually getting
thoroughly exposed," Congress MP Rajiv Shukla told reporters
outside Parliament.

Shukla said SIT is doing a good job in the case.

BJP`s Sushma Swaraj said the deciosion could be appealed against in the Supreme Court.



First Published: Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 00:18
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