Ignoring calls of shunning a function attended by Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on Sunday shared the dais with the Gujarat chief minister at a convocation in Gandhinagar, hours after he was questioned by Special Investigation Team in a 2002 riots case.
Some of the riot victims and kin of former MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gulburg Society riots -- the case in which Modi had been quizzed-- had made an online appeal urging the CJI and Justice A M Ebrahim, former judge of Zimbabwe Supreme Court, not to share the stage with Modi at the first convocation of Gujarat National Law University.
At the function, Balakrishnan sat on the right side of Modi, while Gujarat High Court Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhyay was seated on the left of the chief minister.
During his address, Justice Ebrahim acknowledged Modi for his statement yesterday after his questioning by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT that 'no one was above the law'.
Justice Ebrahim said he "very much agreed" with the statement of Modi.
The Gujarat Chief Minister, however, did not make any speech during the convocation.
Gujarat Congress too had said that "it would not be proper" for Balakrishnan to share the dais with Modi as he had been questioned by the SIT on a complaint by Ehsan's widow Zakia Jafri.
The open letter by Zakia and others had said, "An association of the Chief Justices of India and Zimbabwe with a person who is being examined for his role in the killing of innocent people, under the directives of the Supreme Court will send out wrong signals and undermine the process of justice in Gujarat."