New Delhi: The Supreme Court today restrained
the trial court from pronouncing its judgement in 2002 post
Gujarat communal riots cases but refused to stay the ongoing
trial as sought by certain NGOs and rights activists.
"The trial court shall proceed with the trial but no
judgement shall be pronounced," a bench of Justices D K Jain,
P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam said.
The apex court also appointed A K Malhotra, a former DIG
of CBI, to verify allegations of lapses in investigations
being conducted by Special Investigation Team (SIT) into 2002
Gujarat communal riots.
The Bench passed the direction while dealing with the
plea of the 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 said Malhotra would verify the allegations
after examining the reply filed by SIT on the issue. After
verifying the allegations, Malhotra would submit his report to
Gujarat government has strongly opposed reconstitution of
SIT and stay of the trial which it said was almost on the
verge of conclusion as almost all witnessess had been
The apex court granted permission to SIT to take steps
for replacement of two public prosecutors who had withdrawn
from the case alleging non-cooperation from the probe agency
and one of them also attributed bias to the trial judge.
The bench agreed to the suggestion of amicus curaie
and senior counsel Harish Salve that the two new public
prosectuors would be appointed through consensus after
eliciting the views of the petitioners also.
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.