'Bureaucratic inaction behind 2002 Gujarat riots'

Larger conspiracy, bureaucratic inaction behind 2002 Gujarat riots, slain MP's wife tells SC

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal contended before the bench that his client was not concerned about high dignitaries and there was no politics

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI File Photo

Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, on Tuesday told the Supreme Court there was a larger conspiracy at play, besides bureaucratic inaction, police complicity, hate speech to unleash violence during the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal contended before a bench presided over by Justice A M Khanwilkar that his client was not concerned about high dignitaries and there was no politics, rather the issue was about law and order, and the right of the individuals.

He was arguing on Zakia's plea challenging the SIT report, which gave a clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other high functionaries in the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

The bench said it would like to see the closure report which was accepted by the magistrate in the case.

Sibal said that the petitioner filed a complaint to DGP Gujarat categorically alleging there was a widespread conspiracy, which led to the crumbling of the law-and-order situation in the state after the Godhra carnage. 

He alleged that the SIT has not produced relevant material before the court. 

“I don’t want anyone to be named, anyone to be indicted but it is the law and order issue. This should not happen again. I only want investigation I do not want any convictions at this stage,” Sibal said.

This was not a political issue, it was not an individual, rather an administrative failure of the state, he added.

He said there are 23,000 pages worth of material, which were not confined to Gulbarga society case alone.

“We only want this court to look at these pages. That is all we want. If the court limits it to Gulbarga, what happens to rule of law,” he asked.

The court, which started hearing the arguments in 2018 petition, would again take up the matter on Wednesday.

81-year-old Zakia filed the petition against the Gujarat High Court's order of October 5, 2017, that upheld clean chit given to Modi and others by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team. 

The petitioner, whose husband Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was burnt to death in their house Gulbarga society, contended Modi, and 59 others, including bureaucrats and police officers, should be made accused for being a part of criminal conspiracy for the 2002 riots.

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