Court will have to ‘draw a conclusion' after the SIT submits its full report
The Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court has rejected the demand of Zakia Jafri, widow of the slain former Congress member in the Lok Sabha, Ehsan Jafri, for making public the report of the Supreme-Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on the 2002 Gujarat riots, with particular reference to the Gulberg Society massacre.
Delivering his order on Saturday, which he had reserved earlier this week after hearing the arguments of both sides, magistrate M.S. Bhatt ruled that since the SIT was yet to submit its full report along with the accompanying documents and annexure, no action was required on the report at this stage.
The court pointed out that as per the Supreme Court's order, it would have to “draw a conclusion” after the SIT submitted its full report before it could be made public. The court had given time to the SIT to submit its full report by March 15, only after which the court could draw a conclusion on the report.
The Supreme Court, in its September 2011 order, asked the SIT to file its final report before the magisterial court here and said that if the magistrate decided to close the case, he would be required to provide a copy of the full SIT report to the complainant, Ms. Jafri, and hear her before closing the case.
The SIT submitted its report in a sealed cover before the magisterial court last month on Ms. Jafri's complaint in the apex court, implicating Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 other top bureaucrats, police officers and political leaders in the 2002 communal riots.
Following the submission of the report, Ms. Jafri and some other parties in the case demanded a copy of the report as per the apex court's order. The court, however, had rejected it on the same ground, after which Ms. Jafri filed another application in the court last month demanding that the report be read out in the court.
SIT advocate R.S. Jamuar had opposed the plea pointing out that the Supreme Court order was specific about the metropolitan court taking a decision on the fate of the report, whether to close the case or ask for further investigation, which could be possible only after the full report was submitted. Till then, the report could not be made public as it was of a sensitive nature and could also influence the ongoing investigation in some other massacre cases.