'Modi not cleared, BJP has misread verdict'
The Congress and the Left on Monday refuted the BJP's contention that the Supreme Court has given a clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi by ruling that a trial court will now hear Zakia Jafri's petition in the 2002 Gulberg society riots case. HT reports.delhi Updated: Sep 12, 2011 23:59 IST
The Congress and the Left on Monday refuted the BJP's contention that the Supreme Court has given a clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi by ruling that a trial court will now hear Zakia Jafri's petition in the 2002 Gulberg society riots case.
The CPM said the Supreme Court order by "no means" an exoneration of Modi but will lead to the expansion of the chargesheet against him through the inclusion of additional complaints.
The Congress said the BJP had misread the judgment. "The BJP has always had a healthy or unhealthy.... disregard for accuracy and a self-acquired license ... with the truth. The apex court has not opined on the merits at all, and has not given Mr Modi any clean chit in any manner whatsoever direct or indirect," Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.
He said the Supreme Court had not indicted anybody but left everybody open to be indicted by the lower court.
"The magistrate has to decide everything and everything includes whether Modi should be included or not. In this case SIT opines that Mr Modi should not be included, the magistrate has been directed to give an opportunity to the complainant and hear them before deciding."
Congress managers said the ruling has given hope to the families of the victims and also opened the doors for indictment of all the accused, including Modi. The party will not immediately go for an offensive against the BJP or Modi on the issue but adopt "a wait and watch policy".
On his part, law minister Salman Khurshid said the BJP was reacting even before the issue had been settled by the judiciary. "The SIT report is still not in public domain. The Supreme Court has asked SIT to put its report before the magistrate. All this is still to happen and the BJP are claiming they are in the clean and are acquitted. I want to know whether they are privy to inside records of the Supreme Court, the high court or the trial court," he said.
Khurshid further said the issue has to be decided by the magistrate and "neither (BJP leader) Arun Jaitley nor I can decide outside the court".
Observing that the apex court has directed the trial court to consider the various reports including the ones prepared by the SIT and other affidavits, the CPM politburo said the court's direction "means that the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri and co-petitioner Citizens for Peace and Justice before the Supreme Court, including the specific role of Modi, will be included as part of a now expanded charge sheet in the case".
However, it said the fact that nine years had passed and no justice had come to the aggrieved was a "sad commentary" on India's judicial delays.