March 3, 2009 1:04:25 am
Apex court asks special probe team to continue till further orders
Almost a year after appointing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to enquire into the 2002 riots,the Supreme Court,on Monday,asked the Modi government to give its suggestions and views to the report furnished by the SIT.
The three-member special bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat was informed that the SITs report on the investigations conducted so far has been filed before the court some days ago.
Inclined to have the views and suggestions of the state government before further directions are issued,the bench,also comprising justices Aftab Alam and P Sathasivam ordered the apex courts registry to give a copy of the report to the states counsel.
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After the petitioners,which include the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),suggested that a copy must also be provided to the amicus curiae (friend of the court),the bench conceded and ordered accordingly.
Senior advocate Harish Salve has been assisting the court in the batch of petitions filed seeking an independent inquiry into the 2002 riots. It was on March 26,2008 that the apex court had entrusted the SIT,headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan,to enquire into the post-Godhra violence.
The five-member SIT includes former DG of Uttar Pradesh Police C D Satpathy and three IPS officers from Gujarat Geeta Johri,Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia.
The apex court asked the SIT to continue to function till further orders,adding that there should be no change in its composition. SIT shall continue to function till further orders. It will also continue with its present composition, it said.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on April 13 and gave the Gujarat government an amicus curiae to furnish its view on the report,filed in a sealed cover,within four weeks.
After Salve suggested that part of the report,which is in a sealed cover,must not be given to anybody,Justice Pasayat agreed and ordered the same.
The NHRC and several individuals and NGOs had approached the apex court in 2003 seeking to transfer the trial of the riots outside Gujarat and further investigation or re-investigation by the CBI.
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