SIT powerless, independent agency should have probed Gujarat riots: Congress

Sibal said till the time, the SC decides to seek details on each and every death, people of Gujarat cannot get justice.

New Delhi | Updated: March 22, 2014 3:27 pm

With Congress stepping up attack on Narendra Modi on 2002 riots issue, party leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday said like in corruption cases, the Supreme Court should have handed over Gujarat riots probe to an independent agency as the SIT had little powers to arrest or carry out searches.

“While importance is being given to monitor corruption related cases, I think to keep humanity alive, the Supreme Court should have monitored all cases related to Gujarat riots through an independent investigation agency. It is sad,” he told a press conference.

He said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) came into being in 2008, six years after the riots. “But who were the officers involved in SIT. They were the police officers under whose jurisdiction riots took place in the state…the SIT had no powers to search, no powers to investigate like CBI. It only recorded statements of witnesses,” he said.

He said under such circumstances, the victims could not have got justice.

He made it clear that he was making these remarks as a Congress leader and a Lok Sabha candidate and not as the Law Minister of the country.

“Till the time, the SC decides to seek details on each and every death, people of Gujarat cannot get justice. We do not trust the Gujarat administration as 25 of its police officials are in jail over fake encounter….

“Under law, there cannot be two FIRs for the same crime.  The Gujarat police registered FIRs on its own, therefore, the victims could not lodge their FIRs and name those responsible for the riots,” Sibal alleged.

When asked why he he did not rake up the issue earlier, the Congress leader said he had appeared for the victims in court. He said while he is not making any allegation, the needle of suspicion points towards the Gujarat administration.

With the election nearing, Congress has been sharpening its attack on BJP’s PM candidate over the post-Godhra riots with Rahul Gandhi demanding “legal accountability” for the “clear and inexcusable failure” of governance during the violence, and dismissed talk of a clean chit to Modi as “politically expedient” but “far too premature”.

Sibal also rejected suggestions of a ‘Modi wave’ in the  Lok Sabha elections saying the way the BJP was tying up with regional outfits proved that it was not confident that its prime ministerial candidate alone can bring sufficient numbers.

“If Modi is so confident, then he should contest from Varanasi alone and not stand from another seat in Gujarat. If there is a wave in his favour in Tamil Nadu, will he contest against P Chidambaram’s son from Sivaganga,” he quipped.

He also took a dig at BJP for denying ticket to party veteran Jaswant Singh.

“Modi only believes in himself. Lok Sabha elections are fought on the basis of policies of political parties not individuals,” he said.

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  1. B
    Bency Bency
    Mar 22, 2014 at 5:11 pm
    Kapil Sibal said that we do not trust the Gujarat administration as 25 of its police officials are in jail over fake encounter..Good example that law is above anything in Gujarat..not like 1984 sikh riots and not a single one punished.
  2. S
    Mar 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm
    thats a w diffrent case , he is talking of 2002
  3. D
    Mar 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    Wish he advocates the same yardstick to m killing of sikhs and m exodus of pandits from J &K.. ...possibly there is a purpose in raising this issue as CHandi Chowk will be electing its MP..
  4. G
    Mar 23, 2014 at 10:58 am
    How does Sibal define 'independent agency'? The SIT was formed and monitored by Supreme Court. Is Sibal saying that Supreme Court is also not independent? Does Modi control the Supreme Court too?
  5. R
    Mar 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm
    why not about 1984
  6. N
    Mar 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm
    Kapil is right. The investigation must have been done by an independent agency. The ISI for example.
  7. S
    Sanjoy Satpathy
    Mar 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    Mr.Sibal sahib you are never satisfied with any thing in life.Why do not you investigate while you were so close to the Italian lady You could have consuted an Italian investigation committee for your satisfaction.
  8. A
    Ali Prakash
    Mar 23, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    84 can't be a reason not to investigate 2002. If it is becoming so difficult to solve 2002, how difficult would it be 1984.
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