New Delhi, February 11: The Supreme Court today deferred the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, challenging the clean chit given by the Special Investigative Team(SIT) to the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi pertaining to the 2002 Godhra riots, till July.
Apparently, the petition will now be taken up for hearing in July.
Zakia, the wife of an ex-MP Ehsan Jafri, has challenged the Gujarat High Court’s order dated October 5, 2017, which had dismissed her plea against the SIT’s decision.
It was also alleged that the High Court had “failed to appreciate” Zakia's complaint which was independent of the Gulberg case registered at Meghaninagar Police Station.
It would be pertinent to note that Zakia had raised allegations on the accused persons by stating that certain cases like Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gam also including the Gulberg riot were part of a “larger conspiracy”.
On February 28, 2002, Ex-MP Ehsan Jafri was killed at Gulberg Society on the following day when the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, which triggered massive riots in Gujarat.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) in 2012, filed a closure report, in which it gave a clean chit to the-then CM Modi as well as 63 others, which also included senior government officials. The report was submitted saying that there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them.
Metropolitan Court in its verdict drew the conclusion that the case lacked sufficient and valid evidence against the accused persons and thereafter, acquitted the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi and other politicians along with a few senior officials from the riots case.
On October 5, 2017, Gujarat High Court, upheld the decision of the Metropolitan court, acquitting all 58 accused politicians and bureaucrats on the grounds of the closure report of Special Investigation Team (SIT) ruling out the possibility of “prosecutable evidence” against them.
The High Court, however, while dismissing Zakia’s plea, gave her liberty to ask for a fresh probe into the matter. Pursuing the same, she approached the Supreme Court.
The matter of concern before the Top Court in the present case pertains to the two reports filed by the SIT, one in 2010 and the other one in 2012.
As per the sources, during the examination, critics on both sides have found discrepancies in the two reports and one of the most glaring ambiguity is that the findings of the report dated 2010 stated that the then Chief Minister had a crucial role to play in the Godhra riots. However, the subsequent report was in complete contradiction and granted a clean chit to Modi in the matter.
In November, the Supreme Court had told Zakia’s lawyers that it would thoroughly study the SIT’s closure report, which cleared Modi’s name.
Besides her plea, human rights activist and lawyer Teesta Setalvad has also moved a separate petition challenging SIT' s findings in the case.