The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat government to respond within four weeks to the report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed over a dozen post-Godhra riots cases in Gujarat.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat ordered that copies of the SIT report, submitted to it earlier in a sealed cover, be given to the Gujarat government and amicus curiae (court’s friend) Harish Salve for their “suggestions and views” and posted the matter for further hearing on April 13.
Ironically, the court turned down National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) advocate Sanjay Parikh’s request for a copy of the report of the SIT headed by former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan, saying the rights panel did not need it. The NHRC is the main petitioner in the case.
The court also refused to part with the SIT report on the ground that the report was in the nature of case diary, which they were not entitled to see.
The bench ordered that a separate confidential report submitted by the SIT to the court would not be given to anyone.
The Supreme Court had set up the SIT on March 26 last year after the Gujarat government said it had “no objection” to it.
NHRC and some other petitioners had moved the court in 2003 seeking re-investigation and transfer of these cases outside Gujarat. They alleged that the state police had botched the probe to shield the real culprits. But the court did not accept NHRC’s plea and instead set up the five-member SIT headed by Raghvan.
Clarifying that SIT would continue to function, the court said the panel was free to conduct further probe with its present composition.