Riots: Hearing on Zakia's Plea on Clean Chit to Modi Adjourned

Published: 20th March 2014 05:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2014 05:40 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

The Gujarat High Court here today adjourned the hearing on a plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri, challenging the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court order upholding SIT's clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots.   

Justice S G Shah kept the hearing on April 11 as the state government sought time to check the voluminous documents annexed in the petition.         

Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta who appeared with Government pleader Prakash Jani for the state said, "We need time to go through the voluminous records of the case."            

Advocate Sohail Tirmizi who represented Zakia before the court said, "Notice should be issued to the state government and let them file their reply." After hearing both the sides, Justice Shah kept the further hearing after three weeks.           

On December 26 last year, metropolitan magistrate B J Ganatra had rejected Zakia Jafri's protest petition challenging the SIT clean chit to Modi.  

Zakia had on March 15, filed a petition and prayed for the rejection of magisterial court order which validates SIT's closure report.     

The petition seeks to make Modi and 59 others accused in charges of criminal conspiracy to commit mass murder, arson, rape and also tampering with evidence and destroying records of the Gujarat Home department.  

It also alleged that the magistrate has simply accepted the contentions in the closure report with "non-application of mind".          

"The magistrate has not established the involvement of chief minister by not considering the phone call contacts between him and co-conspirators," it said.    

"He (Modi) had failed to take preventive measures and instead supported a bandh, allowed post-mortems of gruesome burnt bodies in the open and allowed the streets of cities and villages to be taken over by rampaging mobs," it said.

"Illegal instructions were issued to policemen and bureaucrats at a controversial meeting held on February 27, 2002 night not to follow the law the next day (February 28)," the petition said.      

It has been stated that on February 27, there was a meeting called by Narendra Modi, where he had allegedly told officials to go soft on rioters.        

The petition has also alleged that the destruction of key records was carried out to ensure injustice to the victims in which Chief Minister's office and Home department were allegedly involved.

Two years ago, on February 8, 2012, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had filed a closure report and given a clean chit to Modi and others.       

On 28 February, 2002, following the Godhra train carnage, 68 people, including former MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society here during the riots.

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