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Supreme Court upholds SIT’s clean chit to Narendra Modi

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NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 63 others in the 2002 post-Godhra riots in the state and dismissed a petition by slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri’s wife Zakia Jafri.

Bringing the curtains down on the bid to reopen the probe, a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said the material collected during the investigation does not ‘give rise to strong or grave suspicion regarding hatching of larger criminal conspiracy at the highest level’ for causing mass violence against Muslims.

The bench, also comprising justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar, termed Zakia’s plea devoid of merit. It spoke of ‘the devious stratagem to keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design’ and said all those involved in ‘such abuse of process need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law.'

The court also appreciated the SIT for its ‘indefatigable work’ in challenging circumstances and said it has come out with ‘flying colours unscathed’. The bench said no fault could be found with the SIT’s approach, adding its final report in 2012 is backed by firm logic, ‘expositing analytical mind and dealing with all aspects objectively for discarding the allegations regarding larger criminal conspiracy.’

The bench upheld the decision of a magistrate in accepting the final report submitted by the SIT. Zakia Jafri had challenged the Gujarat High Court’s October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the SIT decision.

“We do not countenance the submission of the appellant regarding infraction of rule of law in the matter of investigation and the approach of the magistrate and the high court in dealing with the final report,” the bench said.

Congress leader and former MP Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people killed at Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society during violence on February 28, 2002.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

47 Days ago