SC not to reconstitute SIT to probe Gujarat riots

SC not to reconstitute SIT to probe Gujarat riots

BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday got a breather from the Supreme Court after it declined requests to bar him from contesting polls and reconstitute the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the 2002 riots cases. 

“We cannot permit such prayers. Reconstitution of SIT at this stage is not good,” a bench of Justices H L Dattu and S A Bobde said. Advocate Fatima A, who filed the PIL, urged for the SIT to be reconstituted with three retired SC judges, including persons from the minority community, to investigate the role and complicity of Modi in the post-Godhra riots.

The court, however, said that the SIT was already functioning and there were not “so many” judges available for the purpose. The petitioner cited the SIT investigation into a complaint by Jakia Jafri, the wife of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, who blamed Modi and others for the 2002 Gulburg Housing Society riot case in Ahmedabad. The SIT, however, gave a clean chit to the Gujarat chief minister.

“The SIT was not justified in not making the slightest effort to pin down Narendra Modi on any gaps and contradictions in his testimony,” she said. The petition claimed that offences were made out against Modi, even at the prima facie stage, for promoting enmity between different religious groups and acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony.

As the bench said it cannot allow “omnibus prayer” in a clear disinclination to admit her plea, she urged the court to allow her to withdraw the petition, which was granted.

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