2002 Riots: SC Asks SIT If Zakia Jafri Can Get Documents

New Delhi
2002 Riots: SC Asks SIT If Zakia Jafri Can Get Documents
The Supreme Court today directed the SIT, which probed 2002 Gujarat riots cases, to apprise it on whether documents relating to the closure report of the case of killing of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri can be supplied to his wife Zakia Jafri.

"We direct the SIT (Special Investigation Team) Chairman to peruse the special leave petition (SLP) filed by the complainant (Zakia Jafri) and apprise us on whether the documents which are part of the closure report in the case can be supplied to the complainant or not," a bench comprising justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur said.

The SIT headed by former CBI Director R K Raghavan had probed the riots cases including the Ahmedabad Gulburg Housing Society massacre case in which Jafri, a former Congress MP, was killed.

A trial court in Ahmedabad had on November 27 accepted the closure report filed on March 13, 2012 by the SIT in the case.

Zakia Jafri has filed the SLP challenging the order of the trial court rejecting her plea for supply of certain documents relating to the investigation in the case.

Jafri contended that the court's refusal to allow her access to documents pertaining to the investigation by the SIT into the case was coming in the way of her filing a protest petition against the SIT report.

SIT chief Raghavan and its member A K Malhotra, a retired IPS officer, who were present in the courtroom, however, said the slain leader's wife has been provided all documents relating to the investigation except those which were supplied to the apex court in sealed covers.

Malhotra stated that "all documents except the report" relating to the investigation carried by him has been supplied to Jafri.

The court was hearing Jafri's appeal against July 16 order of the trial court, which had rejected her demand for preliminary report filed by Malhotra in the Supreme Court after the inquiry into her complaint against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others with regard to 2002 riots.

During the hearing, the bench said both the accused and complainants are entitled for the SIT report and documents so that they can file the protest petition.

Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for Jafri, said the November 27 order of the trial court closing the case and non-supply of documents has closed the victim's right to file a protest petition.

The trial court had said Jafri has lost the right to file protest petition against the SIT report, which gave a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, due to lapse of time. It had said despite being given sufficient time, she had not filed the protest petition.

Ehsan Jafri was among 69 people killed by a mob during riots at Gulburg Housing Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002.

The court had said Zakia Jafri can now only make oral submission regarding her protest against the SIT report.

The SIT had submitted its final report in the court regarding Gulburg Society riot case giving a clean chit to Modi and others in 2002 riot cases in March this year.

The SIT had provided a copy of the report to Zakia in May asking her to file a protest petition within the stipulated time of two months. However, the protest petition was not filed by Jafri.

The SIT was formed by the Supreme Court to investigate Jafri's allegation that Modi, other ministers of his cabinet, police officers and members of some right wing organisations were behind the larger conspiracy of the 2002 riots in which more than 1,000 people were killed.

The apex court had directed the SIT on September 12, 2011 to forward the report to the local court.

The trial court on July 16 had rejected social activist Teesta Setalvad's plea for permission to inspect (on Jafri's behalf) the original documents submitted by the SIT with its closure report.

Zakia, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots, had contended that Malhotra's report and Raghvan's remarks were part of the 'relevant material' which Supreme Court had asked SIT to provide to her.

After filing its closure report on her complaint, SIT had handed over copies of all related documents to Jafri, but she also wanted preliminary reports filed by A K Malhotra.

The trial court had held that the preliminary report was a part of the inquiry, while closure report filed by Himanshu Shukla, DCP, was a part of investigation into the complaint filed by Jafri in Maghaninagar police station.
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