A Supreme Court bench today referred to a larger bench the plea of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri's widow seeking documents on probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the Gulburg Housing Society riot case in Ahmedabad in 2002.
A two-judge bench of justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur said it cannot go into the issue as SIT probe and related issues concerning the Godhra and other riot cases of 2002 in Gujarat was dealt by a three-member special bench which on September 12, 2011 had passed the order relating to supply of documents to Jafri's widow, Zakia Jafri.
"We are of the view that the said order was passed by another bench and so it would be appropriate that the matter be heard by the same bench. Let the matter be placed before that larger bench as expeditiously as possible," it said.
The bench said it would not be proper for it to pass the order and propriety also demands that the matter be referred to the larger bench which had passed the order.
The apex court on September 12, 2011 had directed the SIT to forward its final report regarding the Gulburg Society riots to the local court.
The SIT headed by former CBI Director R K Raghavan had probed the riot cases including the Ahmedabad Gulburg Housing Society massacre case in which Jafri, a former Congress MP, was killed.
Senior IPS officer A K Malhotra, a member of the SIT, who was specially asked to probe the Gulburg Society case, had filed his report in a sealed cover before the special bench in the apex court.
An Ahmedabad trial court had on November 27 accepted the SIT closure report filed on March 13, 2012 in the case.
Zakia Jafri has filed the SLP challenging the trial court's order rejecting her plea for supply of some documents relating to the investigation in the case including the probe report filed by Malhotra.
Jafri was seeking the documents to file a protest petition against the SIT's closure report in the probe into the Gulburg Society riots in which 69 people, including Ehsan Jafri had been killed by a mob on February 28, 2002.