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SC defers Zakia Jaffery plea challenging Modi's acquittal in Gujarat riots till January

Zakia Jafri is the widow of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was killed by a mob which attacked the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad

Monday December 3, 2018 12:55 PM, ummid.com News Network

Zakia Jafri's Petition in Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India Monday deferred till January 3rd week Zakia Jafri’s petition challenging the acquittal of Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots case. Zakia Jafri is the widow of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was killed by a mob which attacked the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002.

Zakia Jafri's petition came up before Justices A M Khanwilkar and Deepak Gupta on November 26 and the bench had deferred the hearing in the case by a week. On November 19, the hearing was deferred till November 26.

During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi who appeared for the SIT, said Zakia’s plea was not maintainable and that “it is an issue of facts and for how long it can go on.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court there were concurrent findings of the subordinate court and the High Court as well rejecting the plea of petitioner Zakia.

Zakia Jafri in her petition challenged the clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then Chief Minister of Gujarat, and others on allegations of a “larger conspiracy” in the 2002 riots.

Zakia Jafri's husband Ehsan Jafri was among the 69 people killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre. Gulbarg society massacre is among the most heavily documented aspects of the 2002 Gujarat riots in which over a 3000 people, mostly Muslims, had died, a day after the Godhra train burning triggered large-scale riots in the state.

The petition filed by Zakia Jafri and Teesta Setalvad’s Citizens for Justice and Peace had challenged the findings of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT and the ruling of a magistrate court that upheld its closure report of 2012. The Gujarat High Court had in October 2017 upheld the clean chit given to Modi and 58 others by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Zakia had approached the Gujarat High Court in 2014 after the Magisterial Court rejected the petition challenging the SIT report.

In her petition in the Supreme Court Zakia said, "Grant ad-interim order to Special Investigation Team to carry out further investigation u/s 173(8) of Cr. P. C. in regard to the Petitioner's complaint dated 08/06/2006 and the evidence placed before the Learned through the Protest Petition dated 15/04/2013."

In her plea, she had demanded that the 60 people, including Modi, senior cops and bureaucrats, be made accused of conspiring 2002 riots. Zakia Jafri had also sought a re-investigation of the riots cases.

The Supreme Court had in 2011 referred the Gulbarg Society massacre to the local district magistrate’s court since it was a local police matter. In 2012, the SIT submitted its report which gave a clean chit to Modi and submitted it to the local magistrate’s court, which accepted the report.

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