The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) appears to have ignored the statements recorded by it of two senior retired judges in which they had confirmed the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's alleged instructions to teach Muslims a lesson on 27 February 2002.
Former Supreme Court judge justice PB Sawant and former Bombay high court judge, justice H Suresh, both of whom had visited Gujarat shortly after the anti-Muslim riots broke out in 2002, had recorded their statements before the SIT in 2009.
"I think it was in September 2009 that the SIT had contacted justice Sawant and me for recording our statements and it was promptly done," justice Suresh told HT.Justice Sawant is currently admitted in a Pune hospital and referred all the queries addressed to him to justice Suresh.
Both the senior judges were members of the fact finding team headed by veteran jurist justice VR Krishna Iyer, which had gone to Gujarat in March-April 2002.
The evidence of the two senior judges was based on what was told to them by the former Gujarat minister of state for home, Haren Pandya on 13 May 2002.
He was later murdered on 26 March 2003.
HT has learnt that Pandya agreed to speak in front of the two judges on the condition that they would not name him in their report. A video recording of this evidence was also done, which Pandya wanted to be kept a secret.
"Witnesses deposing before us testified to the fact that the chief minister (Modi) called a meeting of senior police and other officers in the night, hours after the Godhra train burning incident on 27 February 2002," stated the report signed by justice Iyer, Sawant and Suresh.
"We were informed that instructions were given by the CM specifically not to take action against any Hindu reaction on Godhra," the report stated.