Public prosecutors yet to be appointed for Gujarat riot cases trials | india | Hindustan Times
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Public prosecutors yet to be appointed for Gujarat riot cases trials

india Updated: May 22, 2009 16:29 IST

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Three weeks after the Supreme Court ordered trial on day-to-day basis in fast-track courts, the Gujarat Government is yet to appoint public prosecutors for 2002 post-Godhra riot cases.

The Gujarat High Court, which was asked to designate judges for each of the nine cases including the Godhra train carnage case, has appointed nine judges.

But appointment of the public prosecutor is still pending as the state legal department is yet to receive the list of name, who could be designated for the task.

Secretary of the Legal department M S Shah said that they have not received a list of names from the Home department, which was supposed to identify public prosecutors.

"As per procedure the appointment of public prosecutor involved two departments the Home and Legal. The Home department had to give list of names that they would like as prosecutor for particular case," Shah told PTI.

"But we have not received any names from the Home department," he added.

Shah said that once they receive the names, necessary government approval will be given.

The cases for which the trials will be conduced are being probed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan and appointed by the Apex Court in March last year.

Recently, the SC included two more persons in the SIT on request of Raghavan as one of the members, former DG of Uttar Pradesh C B Satpathy, did not want to continue as its member.

The two new members are former CBI Additional Director Parambir Singh and former CBI DIG A K Malhotra. With this inclusion, the SIT would now have total six members including three IPS officers from Gujarat -- Geeta Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia.

The SC in its order early this month, where it lifted the stay on trial of cases being probed by SIT, had said that it would be open to the SIT chairman to seek change of public prosecutors if any deficiency was found during the trial.

The apex court further said that the SIT can make a request to the Advocate General of the state on the appointment of assistant public prosecutors.

The SC also gave liberty to the SIT to recommend cancellation of bail if it is considered necessary.

It had said that the SIT would act as a nodal agency to decide as to which witnesses in the case should be given protection and relocated.

One of the designated fast-track courts for the Gulburg society case where 67 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffery, were killed in 2002 has began its proceedings.