We don’t want a situation where accused are enabled to demand to see sealed reports: amicus curiae

The Supreme Court on Thursday restrained the trial court in Ahmedabad from pronouncing final order on the closure report filed by the Special Investigation Team headed by former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan, which conducted the 2002 Gujarat riot cases — including the Gulberg Housing Society case — against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 61 others for allegedly having orchestrated the violence.

A Bench of Justices D.K. Jain, P. Sathasivam and Aftab Alam passed this order on a petition filed by Zakia Nasim Jafri against the November 27, 2012, order passed by the trial court accepting the SIT’s case closure report, which was filed on March 13, 2012.

The trial court had rejected Ms. Jafri’s right to file the protest petition, as also her demand for supply of certain documents relating to the investigation in the case. Ms. Jafri filed appeal against this order. Counsel Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for Ms. Jafri, submitted that despite the Supreme Court directions all documents annexed to the SIT closure report were not supplied and, as a result, the petitioner could not file the protest petition before the trial court.

Ms. Jaiswal said the trial court had rejected the petitioner’s request to see the sealed cover documents on the grounds that they were not investigation reports but only enquiry reports of the SIT and, hence, the petitioner was not entitled to the same.

Mr. Raghavan, who was present in the court, told the Bench that even the trial court could not see these reports. To which, Justice Alam observed: “That is even more strange and the magistrate should not have passed this order.”

Senior counsel Harish Salve, amicus curiae in the riot cases, said the supply of reports submitted by the SIT would have serious implications.