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Updated: February 16, 2012 02:07 IST

‘No' SIT report copies for now

Manas Dasgupta
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. File photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. File photo: Rajeev Bhatt

It would still be some time before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team's report on the 2002 Gujarat riots is officially known — the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate Court on Wednesday rejected “for the time being” the pleas seeking copies of the report.

The SIT probing Zakia Jafri's complaint has freed Chief Minister Narendra Modi of all charges in the pogrom against Muslims. In a “summary closure report” — filed before the court on February 8 — the R.K. Raghavan-led SIT said there was no “prosecutable evidence” against Mr. Modi, who was among 62 persons named in an omnibus complaint filed by Ms. Jafri and the Citizens for Justice and Peace.

Ms. Jafri's husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was among 69 persons brutally murdered in Gulberg Society by mobs that attacked and killed at least 1,200 men and women across the State.

Metropolitan Magistrate M. S. Bhatt asked the SIT to submit the full report along with all documents, evidences and all other details, besides the report of the Supreme Court's amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran, by March 15.

He said he was, at this stage, disallowing all applications, including the one filed by Ms Jafri, for copies of the report. The court was not in possession of the full report and the applications for copies could be considered only after the SIT submitted the full report with all related documents.

The court fixed February 29 for hearing another application filed by Ms Jafri's advocate on Wednesday. It wanted the SIT report opened in the court and read out.

SIT lawyer R. S. Jamuar opposed the application.

Mr. Jamuar had opposed petitions that sought copies of the report by Ms Jafri, general secretary of the Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace, advocate for the Ahmedabad-based voluntary organisation Jan Sangharsh Manch Mukul Sinha, and some affected parties in the riots.

He pointed out that the report, being sensitive, could not be allowed pre-mature publication as it would affect the SIT probe into some of the gruesome massacres.

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The contents of the SIT report will be known only after the report is made public by the Magistrate's Court. You are reporting from what must be deemed "leaked" information without even qualifying that it is not yet official. This to say the least careless and irresponsible journalism. That the leaked information is likely to be true is not relevant in this context. Please coorect this lapse.

from:  T.N. Srinivasan
Posted on: Feb 16, 2012 at 03:51 IST
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