Gujarat riots: No case made out of Zakia Jafri’s complaint, SIT tells SC
A Special Investigation Team (SIT), which gave a clean chit to 64 people in the 2002 Gujarat communal riots, on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that a probe into allegations of a larger conspiracy was thoroughly examined after which the agency came to the conclusion that there was no material to take it forward.
The SIT made the submission while referring to a complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who challenged the clean chit. In her complaint, Zakia accused the state government then led by chief minister Narendra Modi and police of being complicit in not preventing the riots.
Appearing for the SIT, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said: “After the SIT was constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the Gujarat riots cases, an order was passed in September 2011 in which the court wanted the SIT to examine all aspects of her complaint. The SIT concluded that there was no reason in the complaint to take the matter further and add to the existing number of accused facing trial in the riots cases. That was a closure in a sense.”
Questioning the SIT’s conclusion, Zafri’s counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal said: “The most damaging fact is that the SIT ignored the sting operation conducted by Tehelka as extra-judicial confession when the same was authenticated by the CBI and used as evidence to prosecute the accused in the trial related to Naroda Patiya case,” he said. The bench told Sibal: “Individual role and evidence is not relevant. Tell us what the SIT failed to do procedurally.”