Plea on larger conspiracy in 2002 riots false, SC told

Plea alleging larger conspiracy in 2002 post-Godhra riots to keep 'pot boiling', SC told

Advocate Rohatgi stated the SIT carried out a full-fledged investigation into a complaint by Zakia Jafri, the wife of ex-MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed during riots

Credit: PTI File Photo

The Supreme Court-constituted SIT, which investigated nine major cases connected with the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, on Wednesday claimed before the top court that it left no stone unturned during the probe and the plea alleging larger conspiracy was nothing but an attempt to keep the pot boiling by vested interests.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the SIT, asked a bench presided over by Justice AM Khanwilkar to close the lid on the matter. 

“This is just an attempt to keep the pot boiling and this is done at the behest of somebody, some vested interests….That person is none other than petitioner no.2 (Teesta Setalvad),” Rohatgi alleged.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Zakia Jafri and activist Teesta Setalvad challenging the clean chit given to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, several politicians and bureaucrats in the 2002 Gujarat riots. Zakia challenged the SIT report that ruled out any "larger conspiracy" by high state functionaries in instigating the communal riots post-Godhra massacre.

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Rohatgi claimed the SIT left also examined complaints claiming rewards for the policemen. The SIT said it found the Gujarat government took a timely decision to call the Army on the day riots broke out and there was an immediate deployment. 

“Topmost in the mind of the SIT was the task entrusted by the highest court of the land. We did not want the Supreme Court to raise a finger against us," he said. 

Rohatgi emphasised the SIT carried out a full-fledged investigation into a complaint by Zakia Jafri, the wife of ex-MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed during riots, and a closure report was filed as there was no “prosecutable evidence” against all those named by the complainants. 

He said, “The complaint was examined threadbare and statements were recorded…..There was no substance to lodge an FIR or chargesheet”.

The bench, however, asked the counsel to bring on record empirical data to show the time the SIT spent in probing the case.

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