The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Wednesday defended its closure report that gave a clean chit to the then Gujarat chief minister, now Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and others in the 2002-post Godhra riots, and said no new material produced by the complainant, seeking further investigation, warranted a consideration.
Appearing for the SIT, senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan said this in response to a query raised by Justice Sonika Gokani-led single judge bench of the Gujarat High Court. She had asked the SIT to ascertain whether the complaint of Zakia Jafri, whose husband ex-Congress MP Ahsan Jafri was among the 69 people killed in the Gulberg Society massacre, is part of the case or an independent complaint. Vaidyanathan argued that this aspect of the case is not going to make any difference.
“This is a case where a complaint was filed in the Supreme Court (SC) and the SIT was asked to look into it. It was monitored by the SC at all relevant time. The amicus curiae suggested certain further investigations and SIT did it. The reports (by SIT) were looked into again by the amicus curiae and by the SC,” Vaidyanathan said, adding that when the report was sent to the magisterial court, it upheld the closure report. He said that in the metropolitan court “no new material was produced warranting consideration by the magisterial court”.
Earlier, Jafri’s lawyer Mihir Desai had argued that the magisterial court erred while rejecting the petition challenging the closure report. He said that the petition doesn’t restrict to the Gulberg Society massacre, rather it focuses on a larger conspiracy behind the riots. A day before explaining the larger conspiracy, Desai had claimed events prior to the Godhra train case had to be taken into consideration.
“Since Zakia Jafri was residing at Gulberg Society, her complaint doesn’t restrict to the FIR lodged at Meghaninagar police station (Gulberg Society falls under this station),” Desai said, while alleging that failure of authorities in taking preventive measures, imposing curfew and bringing Army on time among others, should also be considered as part of larger conspiracy. The hearing will resume next Thursday.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines