The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday submitted a list of advocates to the state government for appointment as public prosecutors (PPs) in nine riot cases of 2002.
Geetha Johri,convener of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT,confirmed this,but refused to divulge the names of the PPs. According to sources,Naina Bhatt,who fought the Patan PTC gangrape case,is among the nine.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Balwant Singh could not be contacted,but a senior Home Department official said the list would soon be forwarded to the Law Department for approval and appointment. The Gujarat High Court had on May 8 appointed nine special judges for as many fast-track courts,but there was delay in selection of the names of advocates as PPs by the SIT. According to the SIT,the selection was delayed because the antecedents of the advocates had to be probed before recommending their names.
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Activist Teesta Setalvad of the Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace had submitted in the Supreme Court that the PPs appointed by the state government in cases pertaining to the riots were in collusion with the accused. She had appealed to the court that advocates with clean background be appointed in consultation with the SIT. She had also submitted a list of the advocates to be considered for their appointment as public prosecutors. She even met SIT chief R K Raghavan recently in this connection.
The names suggested by Setalvad include Anoop Pandey (Mumbai),Yaqub Sheikh (Ahmedabad),Virendra Parikh (Mumbai),Jayesh Yagnik (Mumbai),I M Munshi (Ahmedabad),Afzalkhan Pathan (Ahmedabad) and R Z Sheikh (Ahmedabad).