Says trial court has not still accepted SIT's closure report

Zakia Jafri, wife of the Gulberg Society massacre victim Ehsan Jafri, and the Citizens for Justice and Peace can oppose the closure report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) by filing a protest petition in the trial court, according to Raju Ramachandran, amicus curiae in the case.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Ramachandran, who was appointed amicus by the Supreme Court, said: “In law, the complainant has a right to oppose closure by filing a protest petition. Once this is done, the court will apply its judicial mind on whether or not to accept the closure.”

Asked about the fate of his report — which he submitted on a specific direction from the Supreme Court and which took a contrarian view of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's complicity in the 2002 pogrom — now that the SIT had closed the case, he said: “I was asked by the Supreme Court to give my independent opinion on the SIT report which I did. It is my expectation that my report will be appended to the SIT report as an annexure.”

Asked if the submission of the closure report meant that the trial court had accepted the correctness of the closure, he said: “It cannot be so. The maximum the court can do is to say that it is prima facie inclined to accept the closure, and ask whether the complainant wants to contest this.”

He said even in this event, the court's position was not to be read as accepting the closure but as a legal step aimed at eliciting the complainant's view and giving her a chance to contest the closure.

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