The Supreme Court asked the Special Investigation Team (SIT) not to make public Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's statement in connection with post-Godhra riots and disapproved the conduct of activist Teesta Setalvad in contacting a prosecutor in one of the cases.
"We direct the SIT not to divulge any information collected during the course of investigation to anyone except the trial court and public prosecutor concerned," a special bench headed by Justice D K Jain said.
The direction came when it was pointed out to the bench by the SIT that the Commission headed by Justice G T Nanavati, probing the sequence of events in the 2002 riot cases, has sought the statement of Modi recorded by the investigating team.
"We direct that the statement shall not be supplied to the Commission," the bench, also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam, said.
Modi's statement was recorded by the SIT on March 27-28 in connection with the riots at the Gulbarg society in Ahmedabad in which senior Congress leader Ehsan Jaffri was killed.
The bench also took strong exception to Teesta Setalvad contacting a prosecutor after an application of a victim was rejected by the trial court.
"We cannot appreciate this. It is very serious," the bench said and read out the comment of the supervising officer Ashish Bhatia, who is a senior IPS officer.
It was alleged that after an application moved by advocate Salim Sheikh was rejected by the trial court, Setalvad on July 19 had telephoned Special Public Prosecutor R C Kodekar and allegedly threatened to make complaint in the apex court for objecting the plea.
Setalvad, who was present in the courtroom, admitted calling Kodekar but said the allegations were false and she only spoke about the witnesses.
The bench said it will accept her explanation but will pass a formal order as such conduct was "unacceptable".
"We are making it clear that henceforth nobody except the Chairman and members of the SIT will be in touch with the public prosecutors.
"We also direct that if the SPPs engaged to conduct trials of various cases want some inputs or faces difficulty, they can keep themselves in touch with only the Chairman or the members of the SIT for redressal of the same," the bench said while making it clear that it was ending the matter here itself.
However, after passing of the order, advocate Kamini Jaiswal, raised objection to Bhatia continuing as the member of the SIT on the ground that the IGP comes from the Gujarat cadre.