The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of Zakia Jafri, who challenged the district court order that approved SIT's clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in relation to the 2002 Gujarat communal riots.
Zakia yesterday sought time to verify the translated copy of the documents of the riot cases. Justice S G Shah approving her demand postponed the hearing until 15 October, according to Daily News & Analysis.
In March 2014, late Congress MP Ehsan Jafri's wife Zakia filed a petition in Gujarat High Court against Metropolitan Magistrate BJ Ganatra's order supporting Special Investigation Team's (SIT) reports on 2002 Gujarat riots—giving clean chit to Modi and 59 others.
She filed a petition claiming that both the SIT and district court ignored the witnesses' statements suggesting conspiracy behind the riots. The petition reportedly also claimed that the court also ignored the key witnesses in police department— RB Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt and Rahul Sharma.
In the petition, she accused the district court for sidelining SIT's negligence in the investigation. She claimed that the team handed over the enquiry to the city crime branch "a department that is politically controlled by the home department under Modi," according to Zee News.
Her petition has been adjourned twice before - once in March, when the HC said that they needed time to read "voluminous petition" and again in April where it asked the petitioner to provide a translation of the documents submitted by her.
Later on 12 June, Shah adjourned the hearing again until 15 July and asked the registry department to provide translated documents of the case.
How it started?
Supreme Court in 2008 had appointed a SIT to investigate the riot cases including the Gulbarg Society massacre on 28 February 2002, where the mob killed Ehsan and several Muslim women and children, whom he gave shelter to in his home.
The team headed by former CBI director Dr R K Raghavan interviewed Modi—the then Chief Minister of Gujarat—and others accused of initiating and ignoring the post-Godhra communal violence.
After the investigation, SIT submitted the report to the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate in February 2012. In April, the court declared that in the absence of any profound evidence against Modi and other accused, SIT has given them a clean chit.
Protesting the report, Zakia filed a petition against SIT's closure report in the district court, where magistrate B J Ganatra had rejected the plea asking her to approach High Court.
Allegations against the Special Investigation Team
R K Shah, who was the special public prosecutor of the Gulbarg society case, had quit the Special Investigation Team in the middle of the enquiry. He reportedly claimed that SIT did not cooperate with him during the investigation and also concealed evidences supposed to be shared with Shah—the prosecutor.
He even alleged that they ill-treated the witnesses of the Gulbarg society massacre, whom he was gathering for the case. He reportedly claimed that the members of SIT, belonging to Gujarat tried to cover up everything by preparing documents in Gujarati, in order to confuse Raghavan and other officers who did not belong to Gujarat.