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Supreme Court’s clean chit to Modi in Gujarat riots

New Delhi, June 24 (agency)

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea challenging the clean chit given to the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 63 others by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the 2002 Gujarat riots case. The court also observed that there were no solid facts available in support of the allegations that the 2002 Godhra riots should be termed as a premeditated event due to a criminal conspiracy hatched at the highest level in Gujarat. The petition was filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gujarat riots. A bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice CT Ravikumar closed all avenues for reopening the case, saying the material collected during the investigation was a “criminal conspiracy at the highest level” to incite mass violence against Muslims. No doubt about the composition arises.’ The top court said that the proceedings in the matter have been going on since 2006 so as to “keep the matter hot for ulterior motive”. The court said that those who misuse the process in this way, they should be brought to the court and action should be taken against them within the ambit of law.

The bench, in its 452-page order, said, “Facts are not available to support the contention of the appellant.” There is no tangible material available to support the contention that the Godhra incident of February 27, 2002 and the subsequent events were pre-planned events at the highest level in the State as per the criminal conspiracy. “We do not agree with the representation of the appellant against the stand of the Magistrate and the High Court regarding the violation of law and the final report in connection with the investigation of the case,” the court said.

Zakia Jafri had challenged the clean chit given by the SIT to 64 people, including Prime Minister Modi, in the case. The top court lauded the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for its “tireless efforts” in challenging circumstances and said it has done an excellent job. The bench said that no fault can be found in the investigation of the SIT and its February 8, 2012 report relating to closure of the case is completely based on facts.

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