New Delhi: Paving the way for the trial
court to pronounce its verdict in the 2002 Gujarat riots
cases, the Supreme Court Tuesday vacated its stay order.
The apex court, however, said the trial court shall
not pronounce its judgement in the case relating to the
killing of former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffrey in which Chief
Minister Narendra Modi has been questioned by the Special
Investigation Team (SIT).
A three-judge special bench of Justices DK Jain, P
Sathasivam and Aftab Alam passed the order while vacating its
May 6 stay on pronouncement of judgement.
The bench said that the court can proceed with
the trial in Jaffrey case as the SIT is still in the process
of examining certain witnesses.
The apex court had on May 6 stayed the pronouncement
of judgement in the Gujarat riots cases following allegations
of botched up investigation and demand for re-constitution of
SIT that had been subsequently effected pursuant to the
bench`s earlier direction.
Meanwhile, amicus curiae Prashant Bhushan today
recused himself from the case following an application moved
by the Gujarat government.
The application sought Bhushan`s recusal alleging that
he was biased and had strong views against the Chief Minister
and the BJP government in the state.
The apex court accepted Bhushan`s plea for recusal and
recorded the same in an order.
The bench also issued notice to the Gujarat government
on the plea for transfer of the judge dealing with the Gulberg
Society case relating to the killing of Ehsan Jaffrey.
It was alleged that the judge was biased, favouring
the accused and humiliating the witnesses including Zakia
Jaffrey, wife of the slain former MP.
The apex court had passed the stay order after
allegations were made about lapses in investigations being
conducted by SIT into the 2002 Gujarat communal riots cases.
The Court had then appointed A K Malhotra, a former
DIG of CBI, to verify allegations of lapses in investigations
by SIT in the case.
The court had passed the direction while dealing with
the plea of NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace of Teesta
Setalvad and some rights activists who sought a stay of the
trial and sought reconstitution of SIT for its alleged bias.
The apex court has directed Malhotra to verify the
allegations after examining the reply filed by SIT on the
issue and submit his report.
The 10 cases being monitored by SIT on the earlier
directions of the apex court are -- Gulberg Society, Ode,
Sardarpura, Narodao Gaon, Naroda Patya, Baranpura, Machipith,
Tarsali, Pandarwada and Raghavapura.