‘No larger conspiracy’ : High Court upholds clean chit to Modi, others in Gujarat riots

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday upheld the closure report that gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 61 others in 2002 riots case while dismissing petitioner Zakia Jafri’s allegation against the accused that the riots were part of a larger conspiracy. The court, however, said that Jafri’s plea succeeds as far as her demand of fresh investigation was concerned before the magisterial court.

Zakia had moved the high court in 2014 against a closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT on the issue of a larger criminal conspiracy involving Modi and others behind 2002 riots cases. Her husband Ahsan Jafri was one of the 69 victims of the riots as a mob had set their house in city’s Gulberg Society on fire.

“The trial court has self-limited itself in saying that further investigation, in this case, can’t be ordered. This order of lower court deserves interference. So, the petitioner can raise the issue before the concerned court that is the same magisterial court, the division bench of the high court or the Supreme Court,” Justice Sonia Gokani said.

Justice Gokani while pronouncing the order said that the magisterial court, which first accepted the closure report, was wrong in its judgment that it didn’t have the power to order a fresh investigation. “The court doesn’t believe in the larger conspiracy theory propounded by the petitioners as the Supreme Court has monitored the investigation,” Justice Gokani said.

The SIT had filed a closure report against Modi and other accused after an investigation. It said that there was not enough material to prosecute Modi and other accused. The SIT didn’t believe the testimony of former IPS officers Sanjiv Bhatt and RB Sreekumar among others. Besides, SIT also said in its investigation that the allegations were vague in nature and there was no concrete evidence against the accused.

 

 

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