The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would like to examine the closure report of a Special Investigation Team exonerating 64 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots, PTI reported.
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said it wants to see the justification given by the SIT in its closure report, as also the reasoning of a magistrate court that accepted it.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, the wife of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the SIT’s clean chit. At least 69 people, including Ehsan Jafri, were killed when a mob went on a rampage in Ahmedabad’s Gulberg society on February 28, 2002, pelting stones and setting fire to homes.
Modi was then the Gujarat chief minister.
Zakia Jafri’s lawyer Kapil Sibal told the court on Tuesday that he was not presently seeking the conviction of those named in his client’s complaint. He said that Jafri’s contention was that there a larger conspiracy involving bureaucratic inaction, police complicity and hate speech that led to the violence.
“This Republic is too great to look the other way,” Sibal told the court, according to The Hindu.
The lawyer added that Jafri’s allegations were supported by official intelligence about hate speeches, spreading of false information, police wireless messages and statements of senior police officials.
“People were massacred due to police inaction,” Sibal said. “I am giving you official evidence. Who will be answerable for this? The future generations?”
The SIT had submitted its closure report on February 8, 2012, and said that there was no prosecutable evidence against Modi and 63 others named in the complaint.
Jafri had filed a protest petition against the report before a magistrate court, but the magistrate rejected it.
In October 2017, the Gujarat High Court upheld the magistrate’s decision.