Taking its cue from Centre, the State government said this exercise should end

Taking its cue from the Centre, which asked the Supreme Court not to monitor the 2G spectrum allocation case as a charge sheet had been filed in a special court, the Gujarat government told a Bench on Tuesday that the monitoring of the 2002 riot cases should end for, these were close to verdict. However, Justices D.K. Jain, P. Sathasivam and Aftab Alam told senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Gujarat, that monitoring would continue for a few more months.

Justice Jain said: “It will not make much difference if the monitoring goes on for a few more months. Monitoring of a case after the filing of the charge sheet is not a new phenomenon… It is not a new rule which has come into existence today. It is not a new law laid down by us today. The SIT has been monitoring the trial on our order for the last two years, and there is no change in circumstance now to change our stand.”

Mr. Rohatgi said charge sheets had been filed and the trial was going on, and the superior courts should let the trial court pronounce the judgment. The State government would not be prejudiced if the monitoring continued, but “let there be some principle in all these cases,” counsel said.

“Anyway, we will consider your request later,” Justice Jain said. “We are conscious of the fact that the trial is proceeding. For two years, the monitoring has been continuing,” Justice Sathasivam said.

No order necessary

Earlier, the Bench refused to pass an order on the application filed by the Special Investigation Team seeking clarifications on the allegations made against it by the jailed IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt. “No order is necessary since the matter is not before this court.”

When the Bench took up another application, filed by the SIT in February 2010, for a directive for videographing the proceedings of the Gulberg Society massacre case, the amicus curiae told the court that the application was filed last year when there were allegations made against the SIT, and it wanted to ensure transparency in the proceedings and at present it might be necessary.

“Why change of mind?”

“Why this apparent change of mind?” Justice Jain asked counsel and said: “Trial has to start after our last [September 12] order. The SIT is supposed to do something. We are not saying what it should do. Some decision has to be taken by the trial court. There can be a supplementary charge sheet in the case.”

A member of the SIT, however, clarified that it would have no problem in court proceedings being videographed.

As a copy of the application could not be traced, the Bench asked the Registry to circulate the application, or secure it from the amicus curiae for passing appropriate orders.

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