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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Gulbarg case: Court rejects pleas seeking SIT report

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad, February 15, 2012
First Published: 15:02 IST(15/2/2012) | Last Updated: 23:36 IST(15/2/2012)

A metropolitan court on Wednesday rejected pleas seeking copies of the final report regarding the 2002 Gulbarg society massacre case.

The court of magistrate MS Bhatt said it would take up the applications only after the SIT submitted all related documents. It told the probe agency to do so by March 15.

“At this stage, the pleas seeking access cannot be entertained,” read the order.

The SIT report, submitted in a sealed envelop on February 8, reportedly gave a clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 56 others citing lack of “prosecutable evidence” in the case. Former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and 68 others were burnt to death by a rioting mob on February 28, 2002.

Wife of slain MP, Zakia Jafri, activists Teesta Setalwad, Mukul Sinha and a victim of the Gulbarg society riots had sought the copies of the SIT report.

On February 29, the court will hear a fresh petition filed by Jafri’s counsel that he should be allowed to read the report. The SIT lawyer objected to sharing of the 550-page report saying the activists had no locus standi in the case while the aggrieved party and complainant Jafri could be provided a copy only after the court had taken cognisance of the report.

Social activists fighting for justice in Gujarat have demanded access to the report contending that once submitted it is a public document under the Indian Evidence Act.

The Supreme Court had set up the SIT to investigate if there was a larger conspiracy behind the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, in which more than 1,200 people were killed. Refraining from passing any order in the case on September 12, 2011, the SC had asked the SIT to submit its final report in the magisterial court in Ahmedabad.


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