2002 riots case: Gujarat High Court rejects Zakia Jafri’s plea, upholds clean chit to Narendra Modi, others

The court also dismissed Zakia Jafri's allegation against the accused that the riots were part of a larger conspiracy. The court, however, said that Jafri's plea succeeds as far as her demand of fresh investigation was concerned before the magisterial court.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedbad | Updated: October 6, 2017 3:08 am
narendra modi, Zakia Jafri, Ahsan Jafri, 2002 riots, post godhra 2002 riots, godhra 2002 riots, Gulbarg riots case Zakia Jafri had moved the high court in 2014 against a closure report filed by Supreme Court-appointed SIT on the issue of a larger criminal conspiracy involving Modi and others behind 2002 riots cases. (Source: File/Express photo)

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday upheld the judgment of a metropolitan court that accepted a clean chit to the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 60 others in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots, and rejected Zakia Jafri’s allegations that the riots were part of a “larger conspiracy”.

A single-judge bench of Justice Sonia Gokani partly allowed the petition of Zakia—wife of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri who along with 68 others was killed in the Gulberg Society massacre — observing that the metropolitan court was wrong in stating it did not have power to order further investigation into the allegations as sought by the petitioner.

The Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) in its closure report had given a clean chit to Modi and the others, including top officials and policemen, in the 2002 riots, citing lack of “prosecutable evidence” against them.

Reading the operative part of her judgment in court, Justice Gokani said that Zakia’s petition succeeds in one aspect, that is “the metropolitan court has self-limited itself in saying that further investigation, in this case, can’t be ordered. This order of the lower court deserves interference.”

However, she said “there is no scope to send the matter back to the metro court”.

Justice Gokani also said that the petitioners —- Zakia and activist Teesta Setalvad —- can raise this aspect in the Gulberg Society massacre appeal petition, which is being heard in the High Court.

This observation was regarding the SIT’s stand that Zakia’s allegation had been probed as part of the Gulberg Society case investigation as ordered by the Supreme Court. Her lawyer had maintained that there was no point approaching the High Court in the Gulberg appeal petition.

“The order allows us to approach the appropriate court, that would include the magisterial court, the High Court or the Supreme Court. Since today’s order clearly says that magistrate has power to order further probe, we will approach it again. Had the magistrate used the power under the law by way of further investigation, the larger conspiracy would have been unearthed,” said Zakia’s advocate M M Tirmizi.

Regarding Thursday’s ruling, Zakia’s son Tanvir was quoted by PTI as saying: “My mother sees this verdict as a victory, as the High Court today made it clear that the lower court was wrong when it said it does not have the power to ask the SIT to investigate the matter further. We are happy my mother’s plea was partially allowed.”

The order comes three years after the petitioners moved the High Court against the judgment of the metropolitan court in 2013. The lower court had rejected her protest petition against the SIT’s closure report.

Five years after the riots, Zakia had alleged that cases such as Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gam and Gulberg were part of a larger conspiracy, and made allegations against Modi and the officers from the state machinery.

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  1. B
    Oct 6, 2017 at 3:12 pm
    Zakia is just prolonging the agony or trying to instigate the jihadi elements. When her own party i.e. Congress and SC acquitted Modi why is she after him. The ulterior motive is the upcoming elections. But muslim votes don't matter in Gujarat nowadays. Hindus have united against the anti Hindu forces masquerading as secularist.
    1. A
      Oct 6, 2017 at 9:30 am
      where was this women hiding when her husband was firing upon the Hindus?
      1. S
        Santa Banta
        Oct 6, 2017 at 7:09 am
        Hope that Kodnani and other people convicted are not released under this fascist govt.
        1. D
          Oct 6, 2017 at 4:16 am
          The old lady has been fighting a battle for last 15 years.But she will have to convinced that the then CM of Gujarat had done everything he could to stop the Violence in 2002.He sat in the Control room monitoring the situation and issued numeroous Orders to the cops to stop the violence.He acted without bias and the SIT exonerated him of all charges.The SIT said that the Gujarat Cops did a excellent job.Under the circumstances.Given the fact that statements in Social Media are acted upon.The Court should take cogniscance of messages on Social Media which reminded a section that they need to be taught a lesson like 2002.Are these people preview to information which hasnt been shared with the SIT or Court.The messsages were seen on TWITTER. Its best to leave it to Mother Nature.
          1. M
            Oct 6, 2017 at 4:11 am
            This woman has no chance of getting a fair trial whilst Modi is in power, but what goes round will come back round. Modi and his associates, if they are guilty then nature will take its course in due time and MODIS days could be numbered as the Almighty will surely punish the guilty in good time.
            1. S
              Oct 6, 2017 at 6:16 am
              Jihadi Barbaric Babar Aurangjeb killed brutally Lacs of Hindus Sikh. Those killed their kin are still waiting for justice. All Jihadi Mulla's must leave this country, that will be a great justice to kin of those killed.If you are having so many problems here then better leave this country and you can settle in any Islamic /Jihadi country.
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