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Updated: October 23, 2011 16:28 IST

Amicus report lays the ground for chargesheeting Narendra Modi

Vidya Subrahmaniam
Comment (44)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Hindu

Rejects SIT's decision to close case against Gujarat CM

The report of Raju Ramachandran, the amicus curiae in the Zakia Jafri case, has laid the ground for Narendra Modi to be charge-sheeted for his alleged role in the 2002 anti-Muslim Gujarat pogrom.

The report is still confidential, though it has now been shared with the Special Investigation Team set up by the Supreme Court to investigate and prosecute cases stemming from the 2002 violence in which more than 1200 persons were killed.

According to informed sources in Ahmedabad, who briefed The Hindu on the report's contents, the report strongly disagrees with the SIT's view that no case against the Gujarat Chief Minister was made out. It says that only the cross-examination of senior Gujarat police officers, including Sanjiv Bhatt — who stated that he was present when Mr. Modi instructed police officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger — could establish whether the Chief Minister was innocent or guilty.

Significantly, the report also says that Mr. Bhatt's statement was made probable by the presence of two Ministers in the Ahmedabad Police Control Room (PCR) at the time Muslims were being attacked.

If the trial court accepts Mr. Ramachandran's view, the sources said, the stage will have been set for the prosecution of the Chief Minister under various sections of the IPC, among them, 153 A (statements promoting enmity between communities), 153 B (imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration) 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 166 (public servant disobeying a direction of the law with the intent to cause injury).

Under Section 166, any public servant who disobeys a direction of the law as to how he should conduct himself as a public servant and knowing the act will cause injury is liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term extending to one year. As the chief executive in control of the administration, Mr. Modi was especially under obligation to quell the riots, the sources said.

The SIT was tasked by the Supreme Court to investigate Ms. Jafri's complaint against Mr. Modi and 61 others. The Court subsequently asked Mr. Ramachandran independently to evaluate the reports filed by the SIT by interacting with witnesses.

The sources said the SIT recommended closing the case against Mr. Modi on the grounds that police officer Bhatt, who was vital to fixing blame on the Chief Minister, was a controversial and unreliable witness. The SIT also concluded that there was no material on record to show interference by the two Ministers who were present in the PCR when Muslims were being attacked across Ahmedabad.

In his testimony to the SIT, Mr. Bhatt had said he was present at the February 27, 2002 meeting where Mr. Modi instructed top police officials to allow Hindus to “vent their anger” against Muslims. The meeting was held late in the evening at the Chief Minister's Gandhinagar residence. The SIT said none of the other officers present at the meeting had corroborated Mr. Bhatt's presence.

The sources said the amicus disagreed with the SIT's conclusions, arguing that evidence has to be weighed and not counted, and this can happen only when Mr. Bhatt and others present at the meeting are cross-examined in the trial court. The amicus' view was that it would be premature and presumptuous to close the case against Mr. Modi without an adversarial party putting the other officers to rigorous questioning: Mr. Bhatt could turn out to have lied. Equally, other officers present could turn out to have lied.

The amicus was in fact credited with the view that the presence in the police control room of two Ministers unconnected to the Home portfolio probablised Mr. Bhatt's statement. More so because the SIT had itself suggested that the Ministers had the Chief Minister's blessings (Tehelka magazine which scooped the SIT report quoted Mr. Raghavan as saying that the presence of the two Ministers fuelled speculation that they were there with Mr. Modi's blessings.)

If the view of the amicus is rejected by the SIT, Ms. Jafri and her co-complainant Teesta Setalvad will have the option to contest it in the trial court. The court can also form its own, independent opinion on the views of the amicus.

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Let there be a beginning in punishing the Chief Executive for atleast in failing to contain the mayhem within a day or two, then others will become more responsible. Within Democracy - Accountability is a must otherwise it is a DICTATORSHIP. Religion is for knowing and understanding each other and not for killing each other.

from:  Azhar
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 16:45 IST

The way the media is pursuing Narendra Modi and the Anna Hazare panel, the nexus between a large section of the media and the Congress party should be clear to even the dunmbest of dumb citizens of this country. It is indeed a shame!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 16:38 IST

I can see many in the comments section pointing their fingers to Rajiv for anti-sikh riots, but where is he now? he is gone by far. Lets talk about the one who is alive and aspiring to be the PM of the so called secular country.

from:  Vikram
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 13:50 IST

The amicus curiae report shows how to investigate a case in the right direction when you have so much of prima facie evidence against a powerful politician -- exactly the opposite could be seen in the earlier SIT report.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 12:43 IST

It is sad that statements of controversial officials like Mr Bhatt are
being relied upon to charge Mr Modi. Imaginary stories like Mr Modi
had asked the police officials & his party leaders to go full throttle
to punish people of minority community are being circulated by vested
interests without logic & reason. Supposing Mr Bhatt was present in
that crucial meeting, then why he did not oppose & object to the CM's
instructions that time? On the contrary, if Mr Modi had advised the
security services to take stern steps to preserve law & order in the
State, how that action can be termed as 'communal'? Unfortunately,
there are multi agencies probing into the riots for long & so far
there is no concrete evidence against Mr Modi. In the last few decades, Mr Modi has never said or done anything to show that he is not for secularism & this fact cannot be denied by any Indian.

from:  SR Sankaran
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 11:24 IST

More Shri Modi is maligned by Media the more he rises in stature.

from:  Chander Singh
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 07:01 IST

It would be naive to think that the present actions by the government
are in anyway motivated by a sense of justice or by a sense to
establish the supremacy of the rule of law. The truth is rather sad as
similar and far worse incidences have been shoved under the carpet by
this government. This is not to suggest that Gujarat riots should not
be investigated but to clearly say that this is rather worrying and
worse as it uses the state machinery to achieve a political objective
thereby making a mockery of public confidence in our democracy and its

from:  Vishnu Conrad
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 01:42 IST

It is unfortunate to hear that since 2002 Godhara pogrom,several investigation agencies constituted to examine the case. Among one of them is SIT report. As we know that sit is an supreme court's directed agency which must be reliable, then at the same point why we are being biased on guessing amicus's report.

from:  Anurag Tripathi
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 01:01 IST

I have very high regard for the Hindu.Your commitment to secularism is
well known.You rightly feel that the victims should get justice. I feel
that your esteemed correspondent has drawn hasty conclusions. Even while
stressing the need for cross examining the police officials,she is
talking about the 'could be sentence',of course quoting'the sources'.I
am afraid that such reports may lower the credibility of the media.

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 22:42 IST

"The Hindu" - traditionally known for it's unbiased reports and comments - seems to be degenerating into " guess works" and "leaked reports" and inviting comments on such reports.

from:  MSVenkataraman
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 22:21 IST

First of all let us congratulate THE HINDU for bringing out skeletons in the cupboard of the state of Gujarat. To those of you who feel Narendra Modi is being hounded, let me tell you there cannot be smoke without fire. To those of you who opine that Modi is a man who can take the society forward, Gujarat has been a (role)model Indian state worth emulating for the last sixty years so nothing new about it. Modi is the only Indian Chief Minister who has the dubious distinction of being denied a visit visa to USA and certain European countries.

from:  Art Ali
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 21:40 IST

Everybody know that media both kinds are bias as far as Modi is concern. Amicus Curiae is one man opinion and it is not investigated like SIT. This opinion could also be bias,possible. As far as Bhatt is concern there is big doubt his naration of incident and that is after 10 years. This is congress ploy which is they are known for it for last 60 years. Just look at Sikhs riots and recently Bhagalpur riots in Rajasthan in congress rule. Media NGO and pseudo secular does not have anythting to say about that. But when it comes to Modi they gang-up to bash him.

from:  Laxman
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 19:51 IST

I do not understand the meaning of " anti-Muslim pogrom", which has become a fashionalble usage while describing the communal riot of 2002 in Gujarat, which was sparked by the Godhra incident, in which several Karsevaks were roasted alive. According to the offical report placed in parliament, hundreds of Hindus were also killed in this "pogrom", many in fact in police firing. Whether to prosecute Modi, it is for the court to decide.

from:  Laxmi
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 18:34 IST

Modi had abdicated his duty and responsibility to put down the post Godhra riots with an iron hand. So, he must pay the price, as per the law of the land. No one will dispute it. But every one expects that this yardstick must be uniformly applied in all similar and even worse cases like 1984 anti sikh riots,Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, 1993 Bombay riots etc.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 18:30 IST

If Modi is guilty because the riots took place under his watch, then PM Manmohan Singh is also guilty because the 2g loot took place under his rule. In Modi's case there were thousands of religious fanatics roaming the streets of Ahmedabad who were difficult to control if not impossible. In mr Singh's case there was only one person, mr Raja who was looting the country under his watchful eyes.
Compare both this scenarios. mr Singh's job was pretty easy. He could have even overruled mr Raja. But he chose not to. But the media quickly gives mr clean certificate to mr Singh and a communal label to mr Modi.

from:  sisir
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 18:15 IST

As many posts have mentioned, why this trial by media on one person only and that too without solid proof?
The unfortunate riots in Gujarat were triggered when 100 innocent persons returning from a pilgrimage to Varanasi were burnt to death when the train in which they were travelling was delibrately set on fire at Godhara. Both were wrong as innocent people were killed in both cases but your paper focusses only on the riot victims and not on the people burnt to death. Thousands of Hindus were forced out of Kashmir but the media has forgotton that. Secularism is important but it is also important for the media to be fair in its reporting.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 18:01 IST

Amicus Curie has just placed his views in front of court. It is by no means a final verdict. Let's wait and watch before we jump to any such conclusions

from:  Anita
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 17:53 IST

Very sad to see Congress playing dirty politics to malign a politician who is termed as a very good leader and an able administrator. If Modi is charge sheeted for something like this, why Miss Mayawati is not charge sheeted as her goons killed an Engineer and many others. What about Sikh riots of 1984? what about parliament attack, what about killing of 1000's of Kashmiri Pandits by Terrorists supported by the so called Hurriat and Pakistan? Shame on Indian politics and shame on its people accepting all dirty acts by those dirty politicians.

from:  Jay Menon
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 16:48 IST

Dear Mr.Bandid Moorkhjee,
What you have said about amicus curiae is what is that he is expected to do.The people and media knows that and there is nothing special.But the views of the amicus curiae can open a new chapter of investigation if the hon'ble court deems fit.To the least it establishes that the findings of SIT can't be binding in all respect and it is prone to reassesment.So the possibility of revaluation is made possible by the friend of the judiciary-amicus curiae.Just a revaluation so result could be either old or something new .Amicus cureae , the media and the public are not at fault.Let us wait and see.As long as Mr.Mody feels he is not guilty it would be a matter of just reestablishing that.So let us not pounse on amicus curiae.Let the law take it's own course of action.After all judiciary is the last hope for the common man.Let us conserve,preserve and nourish the sanctity of judicial system.

from:  bose a panicker
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 16:31 IST

I had been reading all the above comments since morning. It indicates that there are certainly two politically aligned readers or commentators for the Hindu. Some wanted to save Modi and some determined to punish him. Why can't we take a middle path. Whatever happened after the killings of Mrs. Gandhi or the bad incident at Gujarat, all the political parties kept on building advantage of the situation rather than finding the root causes and it's remedies.The media must have a balanced view and publish news which are helpful to the nation as a whole.Unfortunately this news is not published in any of the dailies from north.

from:  Chandran
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 16:29 IST

If this report is correct and if Modi is charged under various section
of IPC, he must resign. Whatever maybe the case one thing is sure if Modi is charged and convicted in the court of law, his political career and his ambition of becoming PM is once and for all finished....

from:  sairam
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 16:09 IST

Central Govt; making moves against Modi is biased and political drama. In fact I don't understand why investigation agencies and media are showing blind eye on series of incidence happened during that time. Parliament attack in Delhi, Godara train burnt killing 100 People, then there were Hindu Muslims riots, then immediately there was Akshardham Temple attack by terrorist. Once has to take into account all these incidents in investigations not just Ehsan Jafri murder.

from:  S N Kishore
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 15:50 IST

@everyone....I honestly cannot believe people choose to ignore such strong evidence agianst Mr. Modi and are willing to bring up other cases where the wrongdoers went scot-free, as excuses for him to go unpunished...Its like you steal and get caught, but dont 'deserve to be punished' because someone else stole and never got punished?

from:  Sean
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 15:04 IST

'Leaked'. Oh, really? How come the details of the multi-billion scams are never leaked. It is a dual purpose manoeuvre by congress to create a smoke screen before the fresh trial of 2G scam begins and also malign its most potent opponent at the same time.

from:  Sushil
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 14:41 IST

It has been repeatedly said that the Gujarat pogrom happened not only due to the inaction of the incumbent but also due to several of the congress party 'secularists'. We need a party at the centre which is patriotic, beyond communal means. One incident of Gujarat doesnt make BJP communal at the same time the several riots that have taken place under congress doesn't make congress 'secular'. One question that always comes out to the fore is why did SANJEEV BHATT not raise this in 2002. As appropriately pointed out by some of them above,its noteworthy that this whole thing has come up at the same time when the 2G case perpetrators are being charge-sheeted. Also the way CHIDAMBARAM is being given a clean chit points to a nexus between cbi and upa.Also to be noted is the way congress has been quashing democracy - be it the Anna Hazare movement,none from the congress getting arrested in the 2G case,Robert vadhra's illegal assets not coming under investigation and many other such incidents.

from:  sreepada
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 14:35 IST

The Hindu has picked out TWO reports both of which are said to be confidential as of now, and commented upon them. Do you have powers of clairvoyance? Further, one should take note of the fact that SIT is the investigating agency, and amicus curiae is not. Therefore, amicus curiae has not conducted an investigation on his own, and he cannot have obtained any evidence in the matter. He has only expressed his "views" and it is a moot point whether the "views" are based on facts or on conjectures.
In the circumstances, it is not appropriate for the media to embark on wild guesses, solely for the purpose of maligning Narendra Modi.

from:  Bandit Moorkhjee
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 13:29 IST

culprits should be punished at any cost

from:  Abdul Hameed
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 13:25 IST

The startling assertions made by amicus curiae has left Modi, seen waving the flag of "Sadhbavana" in full glare of media, in dock.Not only will the can of worms opened now, make him face music, but also hit a road block to his much aspired journey to Janpath Road. A canny Modi,took no time to score the short respite,given by Supreme Court,through the much hyped fast,only to draw flak.

from:  C.Chandrasekaran
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 13:22 IST

Just because Sikhs were victims of senseless carnage and Congress was not punished, does it mean Narendra Modi should not be punished ??Killing of any human being, either from majority or minority is crime and should be condemn by all. Narendra Modi's direct involvement in abetting the killings of thousands of minorities in Gujarat has solid proofs. Modi had been abusing official machinery to tamper the proofs, influencing investigations, silencing witnesses, victimizing officials (Sanjeev Bhatt). Those killings were done on his direct orders thru ministers and police officials. What else skeptics wants to be convinced. History will not excuse those persons responsible for such massive large genocide in India. He should be punished not because he could not control, but because he ordered those killing and mountains of proofs are there.

from:  Hiten
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:58 IST

It is indeed deplorable that a CM is being constantly hounded by media and some political parties. Even if it is accepted that Modi had masterminded all that including Godhra and it's aftermath how on earth we can forget the mass atrocities committed towards the Sikh communities allover India after Mrs. Gandhi's assassination ? More than 3000 Sikhs were massacred in Delhi itself ! Not a single media nor any political party had raised their voice till date ! Is it that only a particular community is sensible to all of us ? If so, there is something wrong with all of us, for which we will pay someday.

from:  Viswanath C Pillai
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:52 IST

It seems that my fellow countrymen are of the opinion that since nothing has been done earlier to account for the riots, it should continue to be be so !!! As with everything, our democracy as well as our judiciary needs to be proactive and improvise. It can either be argued that this is politically motivated blah blah and deviate from the issue or it can be taken to its logical conclusion and made an example of; to ensure that no such things happen in the future.

from:  Farhan
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:51 IST

Please dont make Sikhs a debating point in discussions. Thousands were killed and all our civil society including media did nothing for getting them justice..its sad that thousands died and no one is responsible. No One Killed the Sikhs.

from:  Tejinder
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:48 IST

Looks like lot of the previous comments rather than appreciating the system that is trying to probe the Gujarat riots meticulously ; are comparing with the 1984 riots saying that as such kind of report was not produced for that massacre, what is the point of producing for Gujarat massacre ? It shows the clear narrow mindedness of the "Hindutva" psychology. The right demand would be exert pressure on the system to get every massacre probed meticulously irrespective of the time elapsed. The correct findings of every massacre will not only put the criminal elements where they should be but also gives the chance to the whole humanity to learn how we shouldn't lose our human compassion with the fellow humans.

from:  Sriram Pyngas
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:10 IST

There are so many muslims in Gujarat who appreciates Modi as he brought peace progress and harmony to his state. Religious riots are part of our history for 1000 years. In last 60 years of independent India not a single prime minister or chief minister made responisible for riots...Modi is the man who can take India forward and congress is worried about the same....

from:  Chintan
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:08 IST

The case against Modi is now very strong and he has to stand trial, this is not a case of political witch-hunt but it our right to enforce politicians to do their job as required by our constitution only and not anything that violates its spirit, corruption and communalism are corroding our national fabric and making Citizens feel that we are living in a hopeless country and only way to salvage this nasty feeling is too take recourse to law of the land and bring to justice whosoever is high or mighty.

from:  Xavier Surender
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:04 IST

Never before in the history of independent India, any popular leader been maligned so much by English media as Mr Narendra Modi. He has undergone unprecedented amount of media trial, without any solid evidence against him. In this case, the report has been leaked although it is a confidential material. It itself proves that dirty trick department of congress working overtime to deflect the nations attention from unfolding drama of 2G scam cases. If a head of govt is held responsible for every crime done in his juridiction, congress would find in dock all its previous prime ministers and chief ministers. I am sorry to say the "Hindu" seems to have collaborated in this game of congress to malign the best chief >minister of the country.

from:  Dr Anand Arya
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 11:41 IST

The exposure of the amicus curiae's confidential report by The Hindu in the matter of SIT's findings that no case was made out against Narendra Modi in respect of infamous Gujarat riot in the year,2002 deserves to be applauded. However, in the eyes of law the statement of a controversial person has no reliability. Sanjiv Bhatt has become a controversial witness for forcing a constable to make and submit a false affidavit to SIT for which he was recently arrested. If it is proved that that Sanjiv Bhatt had no role in forcing the constable to make a false affidavit and the constable did its own, a fine and tenable case can be made against Narendra Modi and till then no case can be made out against him. Perhaps this is the law today.

from:  Bimal Chandra Jha
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 10:54 IST

How it is being leaked as the matter is pending trial and sub-judice as the report is still confidential then who played the crucial role of leaking it without placing before the court? Is it not contempt of court? There is a public opinion that the view supposed to expressed by the amicus curie against the closure of case against Mr.Modi, as been leaked might be the hand work and conspiracy of the congress to shield it's mess as the 2G case is comes to trail after investigation the congress government might be at risk, further the role of prime minister Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram is still under cover. In past the Congress always doing the work like this that whenever it under risk. The time of the leak also very crucial as the Modi's popularity is on the high beyond Gujarat and if he choose as a prime ministerial candidate then he not only tough for congress and also the congress would be lose it's ground that why the confidential report is intentionally leaked.

from:  Siva Ilayaraja
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 10:08 IST

Never in the country's history has so much investigation been done on any riots incident. 2002 Riots were unfortunate but Modi did not carry it out. If one argues Modi is to be charge sheeted for it then similar charge will lie on the congress and its then leaders including ex-PM Rajiv Gandhi for not stopping and abetting the sikh riots, which killed tens of thousands of sikhs in 1983.

from:  moh
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 09:26 IST

Ji I wonder such a report was not done during the anti Sikh riots? Is there different rules for Sikhs being killed and Muslims being killed? After all we are secular and both must be treated equally. Why I wonder then this differentiation. Is there a possibility of political influence in this?

from:  S.Balakrishnan
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 08:11 IST

If Mr.Modi can be chargesheeted on the grounds that he as the Chief Executive was responsible to quell the riots and maintain peace, many of our erstwhile Chief ministers and Prime Ministers whould have found themselves in hot water. The Chief Minsiters of Jammu and Kashmir are a case in point. Stretching it a bit further, Rajiv Gandhi was the 'chief executive' when the Congress roughnecks including HKL Bhagat rained untold miseries on the innocent sikhs in Delhi. The judicial process should tread carefully in such matters and place itself above any politics. Failure to do so will only bring forth more misery to the citizens.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 08:01 IST

How come none of these appeals , writs and other legalese was used in the 1984 riots? Its alright if hundreds of the Sikhs are wiped out? A lot of clean chits were given! May be thats the way the world functions!!

from:  RGKrishnan
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 07:07 IST

It is a rather unfortunate situation that one Chief Minister and one individual is being consistently and singularly maligned in the name of justice. By the same token and argument the perpetrators of the riots that followed our then Prime Minister's assassination need to be brought to justice. Similarly there have been innumerable riots all over India, year after year and it doesnt appear that anybody has been made accountable - the killings in Assam, the Bhagalpur blindings, the many riots we have witnessed in Azamgarh, Moradabad, Aligarh etc the organized killings in Kashmir leading to mass exodus of thousands of families, the killings of innocent Tamil families in SriLanka which are apparently justified, many of the bomb blast cases which have gone unsolved for many years now etc - and these have been conveniently forgotten, but apparently the present Chief Minister of Gujarat is on the wrong side of the political fence and so the ruling dispensation in Delhi is targeting him.

from:  Dwarakanath Srinivasan
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 04:34 IST

The Hindu has done it's duty to the victims seeking Justice. Former DGP of Gujarat Rebeiro had also of the view Bhatt was a controversial officer. That should not be the only ground to reject his statement as unreliable. SIT should take into consideration Amicus Curiea's report that the adversial other side should be given an opportunity to cross examine the other Police Officers to find out the truth. It is only on cross examination of Bhatt as well as the other Police Officers and the two Ministers who were alleged to have been present in the Police Control Room with the blessings of Mr. Modi. The speed with which action under various charges are being initiated by Modi's Govt. against Bhatt further strengthens the probability of Modi's involvement. Let us have faith in our Judiciary even if the SIT reiterates it's earlier decision to close the case against Modi and lets down the victims.

from:  N.Thirunavukkarasu
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 04:14 IST
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