September 12th, 2011
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SC deferred Modi case to trial court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has deferred the case against Narendra Modi in the Gulbarg Society massacre back to the Ahmedabad district magistrate. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation director R.K. Raghvan, has been asked to file its final report on Ehsan Jafri murder case related to the riots at Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad, before the lower court in Ahmedabad.

The Supreme Court bench of Justice DK Jain, Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Aftab Alam member has directed the magistrate to hear Zakia’s plea.The apex court has not found any strong material evidence in the SIT report to prove that Modi or his associates were directly involved in instigating violence.

The amicus curiae  Raju Ramachandran report, which differed with the findings of the SIT, is also to be referred to the magistrate. The magistrate is to take a final decision on the alleged involvement of people named in the FIR after referring to the SIT report, the amicus curiae report and the statements of  Zakia Jafri.

In February, the SIT team headed by former CBI Chief RK Radhavan submitted a 600 page report in sealed envelope to the Supreme Court. Though the report posed several embarrassing questions for Modi, the evidence is not found to be strong enough to prosecute him. The SIT report says the government’s reaction to the violent attacks on Muslims in Gulbarg society and Naroda Patiya was not the type expected of anyone. Chief Minister Narendra Modi is accused of not considering the situation seriously and he merely pushed it aside by claiming that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The report also criticised Modi for appointing pro-VHP advocates as public prosecutors in the riot cases. Modi had not visited riot-affected areas though he was at Godhra on February 27, 2002. The government destroyed wireless records of police conversations on that fateful day. The report also criticised the role of bureaucrats and cabinet ministers members but it failed to satisfy the apex court.

The Supreme Court was to decide today whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s role should be probed for his alleged involvement in the February 28, 2002 Gulbarga Society massacre case. 69 people, including Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a rioting mob which attacked the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 2002; soon after the Godhra train burning. Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to direct the investigators to investigate Modi’s alleged complicity in the Gulbarga Society massacre.

Zakia Jafri expressed her unhappiness at the Supreme Court verdict on her petition.”It’s possible that the SIT investigations were not done properly. So many evidences were given, did they find none appropriate? They must be celebrating today. All our prayers have gone waste,” said Zakia Jafri.

The current ruling of the Supreme Court is a breather for the Gujarat Chief Minister and it is believe that it would silence Modi’s refractors for the time being. For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the apex court’s observation is a huge relief. “We are relieved now as the BJP was feeling a little handicapped because of this case. Now this will mean that Modi can play a much larger role in national politics,” said BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Punj.





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