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Gujarat riots case: High Court order on Zakia Jafri’s plea likely today

The plea challenges the clean chit given to PM Modi and others.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2017 08:07 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Ahmedabad
Gujarat,Gujarat High Court,Zakia Jafri
Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress lawmaker Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gulbarg massacre nine years ago, talking to the media at her residence in Surat .(PTI File Photo)

The Gujarat High Court is likely to pronounce on Monday its order on a petition by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, challenging a lower court order upholding a clean chit to the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots cases.

The matter was listed for pronouncement of order on August 9, but Justice Sonia Gokani, who heard the case, had then deferred it to August 21. The hearing in the case had concluded on July 3.

The court heard a criminal review petition moved by Jafri and activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, challenging the lower court order upholding the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the alleged larger criminal conspiracy behind the 2002 riots.

The petitioners have also demanded fresh investigation into the case.

The petition demanded that Modi and 59 others be made accused on charges of criminal conspiracy behind the riots.

On February 28, 2002, 68 people, including Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a mob at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad.

During the course of the hearing, the SIT had submitted before the court that a lower court, where the case was first heard, had looked into all aspects of allegations and concluded that there was no further need to investigate the matter from the angle of larger conspiracy.

Zakia’s lawyer Mihir Desai had told the court that the magistrate, who accepted the SIT’s closure report, did not even consider other options like rejecting the report, or ordering a fresh probe.

He submitted that the lower court ignored the Supreme Court’s guidelines and had not considered the signed statements of witnesses which suggested that there was conspiracy behind the incidents.

The SIT had on February 8, 2012, filed a closure report, giving a clean chit to Modi and others in the case.

In December 2013, a metropolitan court had rejected Jafri’s plea to book Modi and others for criminal conspiracy, after which she moved the High Court in 2014.

Apart from political leaders, Jafri’s complaint also named bureaucrats, police and private individuals.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 08:07 IST