The Supreme Court Monday refused to admit a petition seeking a direction to the Justice G T Nanavati Commission to summon Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged role in the 2002 riots,saying it cant interfere with the panels work.
A bench of Justices D K Jain and A K Dave told NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch,which had filed the petition,and Zakia Jafri,the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed during the riots,that the court had already transferred the riots cases to a magistrater court in Ahmedabad.
Zakia had accused 64 senior politicians,including Modi,bureaucrats and police officers of committing crimes,including murder,during the riots and pleaded with the Supreme Court to order an independent investigation into why the administration had not helped the victims and contained the carnage.
However,in September 2011,a special bench of the court ended its over two-year long monitoring of the riots cases,including the Gulberg massacre in which Jafri was killed,and directed the SIT it had constituted to file a report on its probe in the Ahmedabad court.
This petition has become infructuous now, the bench told the NGO and Zakia on Monday. Whatever remedy you have,we have never stopped you. But here you know our problem,we cannot give any directions to the commission. How can we start monitoring the working of the commission… It is a statutory body. Will it not be over reach by this court? The report (of the commission) has to be filed in the House and it is for the House to reject or accept it.
In its plea,the NGO had argued that Modis role in the carnage was within the ambit of panels inquiry as made clear in its terms of reference,which were expanded in 2004.
In September 2009,the commission had rejected the NGOs plea to summon Modi and five others,and question them regarding the communal violence that left more than 1,000 people dead. The SIT questioned Modi in connection with the riots in 2010.
Meanwhile,Harish Salve,the amicus curiae for the special bench hearing the riots cases,informed the court that the Nanavati panel has been issuing notices to the SIT,seeking investigation papers on the Gulberg case. Salve conveyed that the SIT did not want to take a decision on the notices on its own and,as a body formed by the SC,would prefer to comply with whatever the court directs.