Gujarat HC rejects Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging lower court order upholding clean chit to Modi

The petition demanded that Mr. Modi and 59 others, including senior police officers and bureaucrats, be made accused for allegedly being part of a conspiracy that facilitated the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

October 05, 2017 12:09 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:02 pm IST - Ahmedabad

Zakia Jafri, wife of 2002 post-Godhra riots victim Ehsan Jafri, visits her old house at Gulberg Society, on February 27, 2012, the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat violence.

Zakia Jafri, wife of 2002 post-Godhra riots victim Ehsan Jafri, visits her old house at Gulberg Society, on February 27, 2012, the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat violence.

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday, October 5 dismissed the plea of Zakia Jafri, wife of slain ex-MP Ehsan Jafri, callenging the Secial Ivestigation Team’s clean chit to Narendra Modi and others pertaining to “larger conspiracy” behind the 2002 riots in which more than 1000 people were massacred in Gujarat.

The court upheld the magisterial court’s verdict, accepting the Supreme Court-appointed SIT’s closure report giving clean chit to the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others, citing lack of “prosecutable evidence” against them.

However, the court has held that the petitioner Zakia, whose ex parliamentarian husband late Ehsan Jafri was among the 69 people massacred in Gulbarg society during the 2002 riots, can either approach the trial court or the Apex Court seeking reinvestigation into her allegations against the accused.

“The trial court has self-limited itself in saying that further investigation, in this case, can’t be ordered. This order of lower court deserves interference. So, the petitioner can raise the issue before the concerned court that is the same magisterial court, the division bench of the high court or the Supreme Court,” Justice Sonia Gokani noted in her verdict that was delivered today.

Justice Gokani observed that the magisterial court, which accepted the closure report submitted by the SIT, was wrong in its conclusion that it did not have powers to order fresh probe into allegations as demanded by the petitioner.

However, on the main allegation of larger conspiracy behind the ghastly riots that were triggered as a Muslim mob torched a Sabarmati Express coach in which 59 pilgrims returning from Ayodhya were charred to death, the High Court ruled out any such conspiracy.

“The court doesn’t believe in the larger conspiracy theory propounded by the petitioners as the Supreme Court has monitored the investigation,” the court noted.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media in Gandhinagar on March 27, 2010 after appearing before the Special Investigation Team probing the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media in Gandhinagar on March 27, 2010 after appearing before the Special Investigation Team probing the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The petitioner had moved the High Court in 2014 after the magisterial court rejected the petition challenging the SIT report. The SIT headed by former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan had, at the instance of the apex court, probed the role of Mr. Modi and others in the communal riots

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