Sunday, October 2, 2022

Zakia Jafri: 2002 Gujarat riots; SC dismisses Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging SIT’s clean chit to 64 people, including then CM Narendra Modi | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the clean chit given to the then chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots by Special Investigation Team (SIT).
A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar upheld the Special Metropolitan Magistrate’s order rejecting Jafri’s protest petition against the closure report filed by the SIT.
The top court upheld the Gujarat high court order and said Jafri’s plea is devoid of merit.
Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed during the violence at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002. Zakia Jafri has challenged the SIT’s clean chit to 64 people including Narendra Modi.
Jafri had approached the apex court after the SIT headed by former CBI chief R Raghavan had found that there was no prosecutable evidence against the Gujarat CM. The SIT had conducted the probe under the direction of the apex court.
On December 9, 2021, Zakia Jafri filed a plea asking for an investigation into a bigger conspiracy behind the Gujarat riots.
She had contended that SIT did not conduct a thorough probe of all the pieces of evidence which suggested a larger conspiracy but the apex court bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar did not substance in the allegations and dismissed her plea.
For several days, senior attorney Kapil Sibal led the arguments in opposition to the Gujarat High Court’s decision on behalf of Zakia Jafri. Senior Attorney Mukul Rohatgi requested the rejection of Jafri’s petition while defending the SIT investigation.
SIT has opposed the plea of Jafri saying there is a sinister plot behind the complaint to probe the “larger conspiracy” behind the 2002 Gujarat riots and the original complaint by Jafri was directed by social activist Teesta Setalvad, who levelled allegations just to keep the pot boiling.
Setalvad had also challenged an October 2017 order of the Gujarat High Court refusing to reopen the closure report of the SIT.
The SIT, appointed by the apex court, had conducted the investigation into the case and gave a clean chit to Modi, and other top politicians and bureaucrats. The clean chit was given citing a lack of “prosecutable evidence” against them.
Challenging the Gujarat High Court’s order dated October 5, 2017, that upheld SIT’s clean chit, Zakia had approached the Supreme Court alleging a “larger conspiracy” in the riots.
The Gujarat high court had upheld the magisterial court’s order, accepting the SIT’s closure report.
Earlier, Zakia had approached the Gujarat high court in 2014 after the magisterial court rejected the petition challenging the SIT report.
In her petition to the top court, Zakia had stated: “Grant ad-interim order to Special Investigation Team (SIT) to carry out a further investigation under section 173(8) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in regard to the petitioner’s complaint dated June 8, 2006, and the evidence placed before the learned through the protest petition dated April 15, 2013.”
(With inputs from agencies)

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