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Gujarat riots cases: Supreme Court disposes of all pending pleas seeking intervention, says they have become ‘infructuous’

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit noted that the prayer in the main plea was to transfer the investigation to the CBI, which was denied by the high court.

The trials in eight out of nine cases have been concluded and final arguments are presently ongoing in the ninth in Naroda Gaon, Gujarat, the court observed. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

The Supreme Court Tuesday disposed of a batch of 11 pleas, which had been pending since 2002-2003, seeking its intervention in the post-Godhra riots cases in Gujarat noting that they had become infructuous in view of the subsequent developments in the matter.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit noted that the prayer in the main plea was to transfer the investigation to the CBI, which was denied by the high court and that there was also a petition by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The bench also comprising Justice S Ravindra Bhat and J B Pardiwala said that after considering these matters, the court had set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was entrusted with the task of investigating and prosecuting 9 major trials.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the SIT pointed out that in 8 of these 9 cases, the trial has been concluded by trial courts. The trial is pending only in the Naroda Gaon case, he said and added it is in the final stage of arguments.

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The court noted that the counsel appearing for the petitioners/appellants “have also fairly accepted that the matters have now become infructuous” and that only in one matter where a prayer for the restoration of protection to Mumbai-based activist Teesta Setalvad, may perhaps require consideration.

“Since all the matters have now become infructuous, this court is of the view that it need not entertain these petitions any longer. Disposed of as having become infructuous,” ordered the bench.

It, however, directed that the trial in the Naroda Gaon case is taken to completion in accordance with law and that the SIT may take appropriate steps for this.

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Regarding the prayer for restoring protection for Setalvad, it said that she is at liberty to make appropriate prayer to the concerned authority and that if such an application is received, the authority will deal with it in accordance with the law.

First published on: 30-08-2022 at 12:43:22 pm
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