Pointing out that trials were already going on, the Narendra Modi government on Monday requested the Supreme Court to stop monitoring post-Godhra riot cases, as it would amount to conducting parallel judicial proceedings. Around 2,000 people were killed in the 2002 riots."All trials have commenced. This monitoring should now end… otherwise it may hamper one side or the other," senior counsel Mukul Rohatagi told a three-judge bench headed by justice DK Jain.
But the bench, also comprising Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Aftab Alam, did not appear to be agreeable to Rohatagi’s suggestion.
"Monitoring of a case after filing of charge sheet is not a new phenomenon. Let the monitoring continue for a few more months. It would not make much difference. It is not a new rule which has come into existence today."
"It is not a new law laid down today. SIT has been monitoring the trial on our order for the last two years. Parallel situation is there for the last two years," it said.
However, the bench said: "We will consider. We are aware of the situation.”
The SC is monitoring 10 sensitive post-Godhra riots cases after the NHRC alleged that the state police did a shoddy job. The 10 cases being monitored are: Gulberg Society, Ode, Sardarpura, Narodao Gaon, Naroda Patya, Baranpura, Machipith, Tarsali, Pandarwada and Raghavapura.
The bench also pulled up the SIT headed by former CBI chief RK Raghvan for changing its stand on video recording of the trial court proceedings in Gulberga Society riot case.
"Trial has to start after last order. SIT is supposed to do something. We are not saying what it should do. Some decision has to be taken by the trial court. There can be supplementary chargesheet in the case," the bench said.
On September 12, it had refused to pass any order on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's alleged involvement the riots of 2002 and instead forwarded the SIT report to the magistrate's court to take a call.