The Supreme Court will on November 19 hear a plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other top politicians and bureaucrats in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Gujarat High Court had last year rejected Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging a lower court order upholding SIT’s clean chit to the then chief minister Narendra Modi and others on allegations of a “larger conspiracy” behind the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
The high court had, however, allowed Zakia to approach higher forums for further investigation in the case.
Zakia and activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace had moved the criminal review petition against a magistrate’s order upholding the clean chit given by the SIT to Modi and others regarding the allegations of a “larger criminal conspiracy” behind the riots.
The petition demanded that Modi and 59 others — including senior police officers and bureaucrats — be made accused of allegedly being part of a conspiracy which facilitated the riots.
It had also sought the high court’s direction for a fresh investigation into the matter.
The SIT’s closure report, filed on February 8, 2012, gave a clean chit to Modi and others.
The report of the Supreme Court-monitored SIT in 2012 had concluded that then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi took all possible steps to control the riots.
In December 2013, the metropolitan magistrate’s court here rejected Jafri’s petition against the report, after which she moved the high court in 2014.
The trial court had ruled that Jafri opening fire in self-defence had “acted as a catalyst and infuriated the mob”.
Ehsan Jafri, a Congress leader, was among 68 people who were killed at the Gulberg Society here when a mob attacked it on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident which set off riots in the state.
(With agency inputs)