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Plea against clean chit to then CM Modi in Gujarat riot: SC told steps were in place to stop violence

Plea against clean chit to then CM Modi in Gujarat riot: SC told steps were in place to stop violence

New Delhi: The Supreme Court bench that is hearing a plea challenging the Gujarat High Court order exonerating the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, from the cases related to the 2002 riot heard that the investigation commission headed by Justice G T Nanavati concluded that the state government had taken all the required measure to prevent the communal violence.

Representing the Gujarat government in a case filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of late Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the riot, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that in a report filed by the Nanavati commission it had mentioned that all reasonable steps had been in the place immediate aftermath of the 2002 Godhra train burning to prevent the communal violence.

Mehta stated in the court that on the basis of voluminous documents collected, the commission had reached a conclusion that there were enough security measures placed, referring the orders to police personnel who were on the leave to join immediately and the deployment of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and CRPF.

Solicitor General also said that "It's nobody's case that guilty have gone unpunished…Convictions and acquittals have taken place."

The Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheswari and CT Ravikumar has been hearing Zakia Jafri's plea challenging the Gujarat High Court order upholding the decision of the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Ahmadabad to accept the closure report filed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) giving a clean chit to the then state Chief Minister and others in riot-related cases.

The court will continue to hear the argument of Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal who is appearing for Zakia Jafri in the case.

The Solicitor General was very critical about the activist Teesta Setalvad, who is a second petitioner in the case, questioning her motivations, which he said were intended to malign the State of Gujarat. However, Kapil Sibal was firm on his stand that the SIT had failed to hold a fair investigation into the matter.

To the question by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Setalvad becoming a party in the case, Sibal said that it was through the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Setalvad becoming an appellant in the case as she worked with NHRC, worked with amicus curiae, appeared in proceedings before the Supreme Court.

"SIT is now doing something that the defence is required to do, namely give an explanation. Were they prosecuting or defending the accused? They (SIT) said these are spicy statements," Sibal said.

"Item 7 - evidence of arms being brought in through police control room messages. I don't want to go into disputed evidence. This is corroborated by a PCR message. So, some statement of the sting is corroborated by official messages. SIT does not deal with it at any stage," he stated.

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