In a relief for Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riot case, the Supreme Court on Monday directed a lower court to decide whether the chief minister can be probed in the case.
Modi, whose alleged role in the 2002 communal riots has been under scanner from the apex court, which had
constituted the SIT to probe a few riot cases and also role of the chief minister and others.
The court will pronounce its verdict on Gulberg Society massacre case in which 69 people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed by a mob in 2002 riots.
During the riots, which many alleged were state sponsored, 1200 people were killed in few weeks across the state.
Jafri’s widow Zakia had moved the apex court seeking direction to probe the role of 62 people, including the chief minister for failing to protect lives and properties of the citizens of the state.
In February, the SIT team headed by former CBI chief RK Radhavan submitted a 600-page report in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court. The report posed several embarrassing questions for Modi but said, the evidence was not strong enough to prosecute him.
However, subsequently, not satisfied with the SIT report, the apex court asked amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran to assess the SIT report and also meet the witnesses, police officials and others in Gujarat to recommend what action can be taken further so far as the role of Modi, his cabinet colleagues and others was concerned.
Ramchandran’s report holds key for the Gujarat government, which is palpably anxious ahead of the SC verdict. It is learnt from the sources that Ramchandran has trashed the SIT report contending that the conclusion of the SIT that “there was no prosecutable case against Modi” is not based on the evidence the special entity had gathered.
In April this year, Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt filed a startling affidavit contending that he was present in the meeting convened by the chief minister wherein he had ordered to go slow during the riots so that Muslims be taught a lesson.
Subsequently in July, he moved an additional affidavit in which he brought out a series of emails exchanged between Gujarat’s additional advocate general Tushar Mehta, officials of the chief minister’s office, RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy and others about how to tackle the SIT and legal cases.
Bhatt had contended that the entire system and state machinery was subverted by Modi government to ensure that truth behind the inhuman riots always remained buried and actual perpetrators are not touched by the law of the land.
The controversial meeting was held at late night at the CM’s residence in ministerial enclave, Gandhinagar, after the train burning incident at Godhara railway station in which 59 Hindu kar sevaks were charred to death by a Muslim mob.