The Centre on Saturday described as “unfortunate” Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's appearing before the Special Investigation Team in connection with a 2002 riots case.

“It is unfortunate that a Chief Minister has ‘landed' himself in such a situation. It is not desirable but unfortunately it has happened,” Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily told journalists here.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a function here, Mr. Moily said that as Chief Minister, Mr. Modi should understand what he was doing by questioning the validity of the SIT summons to him. Setting up the SIT was a Supreme Court decision, he added.

“None is above law”

The Law Minister said that by questioning the SIT's authority, Mr. Modi was “questioning the authority of the Supreme Court which had constituted the SIT.” Mr. Moily also reminded him that the SIT was empowered by the apex court in summoning him.

He added that the development also demonstrated that nobody was above the law. “Rule of law is equal to everyone,” Mr. Moily said.

“Unprecedented”

Later, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari demanded Mr. Modi's resignation for “denigrating” the post of the Chief Minister.

“It is unprecedented that a person holding a constitutional post has been summoned by the court for ‘mass murder',” Mr. Tewari said, adding that if it had an iota of morality left, the Bharatiya Janata Party should ask him to step down.

Another spokesperson, Jayanthi Natarajan, said Mr. Modi must be brought to book, adding that he had already been held guilty in the public perception.

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