HC defers pronouncement of order on Zakia’s plea

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court today deferred the pronouncement of its order on a petition filed by slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia, challenging a lower court order upholding a clean chit to the then chief minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots cases.

The court of Justice Sonia Gokani was likely to pronounce the order today, but deferred it after it raised queries before the lawyers of Jafri and the SIT regarding the Supreme Court’s orders on 2002 riots cases, and posted further hearing on the matter on August 28.

The court wanted to know from the SIT if papers related to further investigation, carried out on the alleged larger criminal conspiracy in the riots cases as ordered by the Supreme Court, were submitted before the court hearing those cases.

It also wanted to know if the SIT had placed the papers related to further investigation before the court hearing the 2002 Gulberg massacre case, one of the 2002 riots cases, in which Jafri and 68 others were charred to death by a mob.

The court wanted the SIT to place on record the same papers before it.

The court also had queries regarding former IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who had also approached the apex court in connection with the riots cases.

On February 28, 2002, 68 people, including Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a mob at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad.

A special SIT court had last year convicted 24 people in the Gulberg case, but had ruled out a larger conspiracy behind the case.

On February 8, 2012, the SIT had filed a closure report before the special court, giving a clean chit to Modi and others in the case.

In December 2013, a metropolitan court had rejected Jafri’s plea to book Modi and others for criminal conspiracy, after which she moved the High Court in 2014.

Apart from political leaders, Jafri’s complaint also named bureaucrats, police and private individuals.