New Delhi, December 3: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of Zakia Jafri’s Plea till third week of January challenging the acquittal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in relation to the Godhra riots.
Zakia, widow of former Congress leader Ehsan Jafri has challenged the acquittal of others along with the-then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi in 2002 Godhra riots case.
Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on behalf of the SIT said, "it is an issue of facts and for how long it can go on" and opined that her Plea was not maintainable.
On February 28, 2002, Zakia's husband, Ehsan was assassinated in a mob attack at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad during the post-Godhra riots. The attack lasted for about six hours, wherein people were dragged out of their homes, hacked and burned to death.
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.
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.
Zakia in her Plea before High court, filed in 2013, not only challenged the acquittal but also raised allegations on the accused persons by stating that certain cases like Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gam also including the Gulberg riot were in fact a part of a “larger conspiracy”. However, the Gujarat High Court dismissed her contentions and upheld the previous Court order.
Nonetheless, the High Court while dismissing Zakia’s plea, gave her liberty to ask for a fresh probe into the matter. Pursuing the same, she approached Supreme Court.
The matter of concern before the Court in the present case pertains to the two reports filed by the SIT, one in 2010 and the other one in 2012. During examination, critics on both sides have found discrepancies in the two reports and one of the most glaring ambiguity being 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.