Gujarat Riots: SC Begins Final Hearing in Case Challenging Clean Chit to Modi

Date:

Zakia Jafri shows a photograph of her late husband Ehsan Jafri. — Reuters file photo

The case is pending in the apex court since 2018

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 26, began final hearing on a petition by the widow of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report that gave clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots of 2002, reports Live Law.

The case is being heard by a Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal arguing for Jafri.

On October 5, the apex court had said that it will not entertain any further adjournments in hearing and posted the case to October 26.

The court had noted that the case has been pending since 2018. It has seen several adjournments spanning months. At one point in an earlier hearing, Justice Kahnwilkar had orally remarked, “We cannot keep adjourning this. We have to hear it someday…”

Ehsan Jafri, the former MP, was among the 68 people killed at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra killing 59 people and triggering riots in Gujarat.

On February 8, 2012, the SIT had filed a closure report, giving a clean chit to Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them.

Zakia Jafri had filed a petition in the apex court in 2018 challenging the Gujarat High Court’s October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the decision of the SIT. The plea also maintained that after the SIT gave a clean chit in its closure report before a trial judge, Zakia Jafri filed a protest petition which was dismissed by the magistrate without considering “substantiated merits”.

It also said the high court “failed to appreciate” the petitioner’s complaint which was independent of the Gunbarrel Society case registered at Meghaninagar Police Station.

The high court in its October 2017 order had said the SIT probe was monitored by the Supreme Court. However, it partly allowed Zakia Jafri’s petition as far as its demand for a further investigation was concerned.

It had said the petitioner can approach an appropriate forum, including the magistrate’s court, a division Bench of the high court, or the Supreme Court seeking further investigation.

— Inputs from agencies added

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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