SC Closes All Cases Related to Babri Demolition, 2002 Gujarat Pogroms


Journalist Aditya Menon aptly summed up the apex court’s move to close all the cases related to the two horrendous incidents in the political history of India on a single day. “First they delay, then they deny citing delay,” he said

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – On a single day, the Supreme Court has closed all the cases related to the demolition of Babri Masjid and 2002 Gujarat pogroms. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is accused of complicity in these two horrendous incidents of India’s political history.

According to IANS, on Tuesday, two separate benches of the apex court closed contempt proceedings related to the demolition of the mosque and the proceedings initiated in the wake of 2002 Gujarat riots.

On the Babri mosque demolition, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Abhay S Oka, and Vikram Nath said there is a verdict delivered by a larger bench and nothing survives in this matter now. It said in view of the 2019 judgment in the Ayodhya case, the contempt no longer survived in the matter.

The order has come as a relief for BJP leaders including Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and others on a petition filed by Mohd Aslam alias Bhure, who died in 2010. In November 2019, a five-judge bench decided the title dispute in Ayodhya case in favour of the Hindu side for construction of Ram temple.    

The bench also said that there was no point in flogging a dead horse as it emphasised that a larger issue has already been decided by a five-judge bench and the petitioner has died, therefore the contempt petition against the respondents is closed.

On the Gujarat pogrom, the Supreme Court wrapped up its proceedings as it disposed of ten petitions, including the one filed by the National Human Rights Commission, seeking proper investigation in the cases of violence during the riots.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit and comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and J B Pardiwala disposed of the cases as infructuous. It said the court had constituted an SIT to conduct the investigation and prosecution of nine cases connected with riots and the trial in eight out of those cases are complete, and the final arguments going in the trial court in one case.

Advocate Aparna Bhat submitted that a plea made by activist Teesta Setalvad, whose NGO Citizens for Peace and Justice had moved an application in the apex court for proper investigation in riot cases, seeking protection was pending. Bhat added that she could not get instructions from Setalvad as she is at present under custody in a fresh case registered by the Gujarat Police. The top court granted liberty to Setalvad to approach concerned authority for seeking protection, which would decide her application as per law.

The top court noted that advocates appearing for the petitioners have accepted the statement of the SIT of completing the investigation. The bench said that since all matters have now become infructuous, the court need not entertain these petitions any longer.
The top court said, “The matters are, therefore, disposed of as being infructuous.” However, it added that the Naroda Gaon trial must be taken to conclusion in accordance with the law.

The court orders also faced criticism for failing to deliver justice in such cases. “First they delay, then they deny citing delay,” said Journalist Aditya Menon.

Another journalist Furquan Moharkan said, “Sikh Riots, KP exodus, Babri Demolition, Gujarat Riots. These cases should never close. There is no difference in all four tragedies. Culprits should be brought to justice.”


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