The Congress on Monday expressed the hope that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will appear before the Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigation Team in connection with a Gujarat riots case.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party has always said that they have great respect for the judicial system and would always uphold law. If they mean what they say, then Mr. Modi will have to appear before the SIT to give relevant information,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told journalists here.

Not appearing before the court would mean Mr. Modi had something to hide. “Mr. Modi will have to ensure his presence before the SIT within the stipulated time if he has nothing to hide,” Mr. Singhvi said.

Describing the setting up of the SIT as a historic step, Mr. Singhvi said it clearly showed that the Supreme Court had no faith in the Gujarat administration and its investigations. The SIT was created to ensure a free and fair trial and justice to the victims.

Rejecting the contention that the notice sent to Mr. Modi by the SIT did not amount to “summons,” Mr. Singhvi said the SIT was empowered by the Supreme Court and its directions were binding on the Centre as well as the State authorities. “Anyone believing otherwise must do so on his own peril,” he said.

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