October 5, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ahmedabad: As per the media reports the Gujarat High Court upheld the closure report of SIT that gave clean chit to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said that Zakia Jafri can challenge it further.
Zakia Jafri’s petition challenged a lower court order upholding the special investigation team’s clean chit to the then chief minister Modi and others in connection with the 2002 post- Godhra killings. The hearing of the petition before Justice Sonia Gokani concluded on 3 July.
It is worth mentioning here that the Special Investigating Team (SIT) was headed by YC Modi at that time, it was under him that the report giving clean chit to Narendra Modi was prepared. For his favours to the BJP leader is has been awarded with the post NIA chief.
Furthermore, Zakia Jafri wife of slain former MP Ehsan Jafri, and activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace had moved the criminal review petition against a magistrate’s order upholding the clean chit given by the SIT to Modi and others regarding the allegations of a “larger criminal conspiracy” behind the massacre, media reports said.
The reported petition demanded that Modi and 59 others, including senior police officers and bureaucrats, be made accused for allegedly being part of a conspiracy which facilitated the killings.
Ehsan Jafri, a Congress leader, was among 68 people who were killed at the Gulberg Society when a mob attacked it on 28 February 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident which set off anti-Muslim violence in the state.
Apparently, the SIT had made tall claims before the High Court whilst submitting its report that its probe was conducted under the Supreme Court of India’s watchful eye, and its report was largely accepted by all. The lower court looked into all aspects of allegations to conclude that there was no further need to investigate the matter from the angle of “larger conspiracy”, SIT retorted.
On the other hand Jafri’s lawyer Mihir Desai argued in the HC that the magistrate, while accepting the SIT’s closure report, did not even consider other options such as rejecting the report or ordering a fresh probe, media sources reported.
The lower court ignored the Supreme Court guidelines and did not consider signed statements of witnesses which suggested that there was a conspiracy, he further argued.
The magistrate also ignored submissions of key witnesses such as (former IPS officers) Sanjiv Bhatt, RB Sreekumar and Rahul Sharma, and ignored the findings of Tehelka magazine’s sting operation, Desai reportedly told the HC.
The SIT’s closure report, filed on 8 February 2012, gave a clean chit to Modi and others. In December 2013, the metropolitan magistrate’s court rejected Jafri’s petition against the report, after which she moved the high court in 2014, notes The Quint.