Gujarat riot cases deleted from hearing in SC



New Delhi: The scheduled hearing on post-Godhra riot cases in the Supreme Court will not take place on Wednesday as one of the three judges will be part of a constitution bench which is going through a curative petition in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

Justice Aftab Alam, one of the judges in the bench headed by Justice DK Jain to deal with the riot cases, would be unavailable due to his preoccupation in the day-to-day hearing in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

The riots case, earlier posted for hearing on April 26, was deleted from the list of business of court proceedings.

The apex court was to have perused the SIT's fresh status report which contains the statements of controversial senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who in an affidavit made allegations implicating Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for post-Godhra riots.

Bhatt was summoned by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by former CBI chief RK Raghavan last month on the directive of the Supreme Court which had asked it to consider whether further probe was required against Modi and 52 others in the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was burnt to death at his Gulbarga Society residence in Ahmedabad.

Bhatt, a 1988-batch IPS officer who was posted as DCP at the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) during the 2002 riots, filed an affidavit on April 14 in the apex court saying he had attended the February 27, 2002, meeting called by Modi where he asked officers to be "indifferent" to the rioters.

Bhatt is currently posted as the principal of the State Reserve Police Training Centre in Junagadh.

The SIT has in its status report also mentioned about a letter written by suspended Gujarat IAS official Pradeep Sharma requesting to be allowed to depose on information received from the CM's office during the period.

PTI