The Metropolitan Magistrates order clearing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of charges of larger conspiracy in the 2002 Gujarat riots has relied and quoted heavily from the arguments by lawyer R S Jamuar,who represented the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
One of the argument was that the job of curbing the suspicious activities of kar sevaks belonging to organisations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad,Bajrang Dal and BJP in Ayodhya was that of the then UP government.
On allegations that the state government did not call the Army in time to control the riots,the court again cites Jamuar as saying that the then defence minister George Fernandes was not from the same party as the Gujarat government.
The court relied on these two arguments while deciding in favour of the SIT that had given Modi a clean chit.
In its over 440-page verdict,the magisterial court presided over by B J Ganatra has quoted SITs Special Public Prosecutor extensively on every allegation levelled against Modi.
One of the many allegations levelled against Modi was that despite warning by the Intelligence Bureau about its adverse impact,the state government led by him did not stop the kar sevaks from going to Ayodhya.
Defending SITs view in favour of Modi,Jamuar argued that any steps prohibiting the kar sevaks from going to Ayodhya were illegal and unconstitutional. If the kar sevaks were only associated with political organisations like VHP,Bajrang Dal or BJP and if these organisations are not banned by either the Central government or the state government then in those circumstances,as per law,they cannot be prevented from going to any place of India.
The court has further said,the Uttar Pradesh government had powers to take necessary steps regarding the movement of kar sevaks. If they have shown negligence in taking steps,then on the basis of that there should not be criminal allegations against the authorities of the state government….
The other allegation Modi was facing is that he deliberately did not call the Army to control the situation.
Replying to the allegations,SIT informed the court that on February 27,2002 Modi had,during a meeting,inquired about Armys presence and had written to the then Union home secretary. And on March 1,2002,he got sure by evening that (the army) reaches other riot-hit parts of the state, Jamuar is quoted as saying before the court in the judgment.
Rejecting the allegation against Modi the court has mentioned Jamuars arguments in the judgment. The then defence minister,George Fernandes,was not from the same party …. and that he had come to Ahmedabad in the night of February 28,2002 and had visited the police control room to assess the situation.
In these circumstances,the base that they (SIT) have taken to allay the allegation should be considered, the court has quoted Jamuar as saying while ultimately ruling that It has come out that the SIT has done in-depth investigation… and this court believes that the conclusion… is appropriate.
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