In a relief to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court refused to pass any order on his alleged inaction to contain the 2002 Gujarat riots after the Godhra carnage and referred the matter to the concerned magistrate in Ahmedabad for a decision.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice D K Jain on Monday directed the SIT, which is probing the riot cases, to submit its final report before the magistrate who was asked to decide whether to proceed against Modi and 63 others, which includes senior government officials.
The bench made it clear that there was no need for it to further monitor the riot cases.The bench also comprising justices P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam said in case the magistrate decides to drop proceedings against Modi and others, he has to hear the plea of slain MP Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia Jafri, who had filed a complaint against the Gujarat Chief Minister.
The court passed the order on a petition by Zakia Jafri alleging that Modi and 62 top government officials deliberately refused to take action to contain the state-wide riots, triggered by the 27th February 2002 Godhra train carnage.
Jafri, who lost her husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP in Gulberg Housing Society massacre during riots, had told the apex court that a proper probe should be carried out by the SIT, headed by former CBI chief R K Raghavan, into her allegations of inaction and various acts of omission and commission by Modi and others after the riots.
The apex court had earlier handed over the task of probing the case to SIT which submitted its report in the court.
After the SIT filed its probe report in a sealed cover, the court had also asked senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who is assisting it as amicus curie, to analyse the SIT probe findings and file a confidential report on it.
Ramachandran subsequently had submitted his report to the court, which passed the order after going through the reports by SIT and Ramachandran and referred the case back to the concerned Ahmedabad magistrate to decide the further course of action in the case.
Ramachandran’s report filed in a sealed cover had analysed the SIT probe findings and evidence adduced by it in the case.
Ramachandran, assisting the bench in nine riot cases, had submitted his report on the direction of the apex court which had on 5th May sought an “independent overview” of the evidence recorded by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The court had asked Ramachandran to analyse the SIT probe findings, take comments and statements of the witnesses and, if needed, interact with them for an “objective” assessment of the evidence.
The bench had on 28th July said it would pass the order on the basis of the report submitted by the amicus.
The court had also turned down the plea of the state government seeking a copy of the report and said it would be given only at the appropriate stage.