The Special Investigation Team formed to look into the 2002 Gujarat riots case ignored crucial evidence and filed a closure report without conducting proper investigation, Zakia Jafri, the wife of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the violence, told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, according to Live Law.
Ehsan Jafri was among the 69 people who 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.
Before the Supreme Court, Zakia Jafri had challenged the Special Investigation Team’s clean chit to 64 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2002.
The special investigation team on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that Zakia Jafri’s complaint was thoroughly examined, PTI reported. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the team, said that Zakia Jafri’s complaint was “threadbare” and the statements in the case were recorded.
Rohatgi said there were nine major first information reports in the riots cases. The special investigation team took up the cases and filed the chargesheets.
The advocate also told the court that when the special investigation team was examining the complaint, it was not a first information report. “Investigation was done thoroughly as per the Supreme Court order,” he said. “There was no order to register an FIR.”
The court observed that the Supreme Court, during its 2011 judgement, took note of Zaika Jafri’s complaint but it had not requested for a separate first information report.
The team had submitted its closure report on February 8, 2012, and said that there was no prosecutable evidence against Modi and the 63 others.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, arguing for Jafri on Wednesday, said the Special Investigation Team’s own official records show that it did not conduct the inquiry properly, Bar and Bench reported.
“SIT never seized any phones, never checked call data records, never checked how bombs were manufactured and it never took stock of the accused’s whereabouts,” Sibal said. “So whichever way you look at it, there has to be an investigation.”
Sibal told the Supreme Court that he had himself suffered because of communal violence.
“I lost my maternal grandparents to it in Pakistan,” he told the judges, according to Bar and Bench. “Communal violence is like lava erupting from a volcano and its an institutionalised problem. Whenever the lava touches a ground on earth it scars it and it becomes a fertile ground for future revenge.”