SC dismisses plea against clean chit to Narendra Modi in Gujarat riots

The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition challenging the clean chit of the SIT to the then CM Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots case in Gujarat. The application was filed in 2018 by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. Hearing this, a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar had reserved the judgment on December 9, 2021. In this, the closure report filed by the SIT probing the cases of riots was challenged, in which 64 people were given clean chit.

One of the acquittals was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was the then Chief Minister of Gujarat. Jafri’s husband had died during the riots in Gulbarga Society. He claimed to have a bigger conspiracy behind the riots and lodged a complaint in 2006. In 2011, the Supreme Court had directed the SIT to probe the allegations while monitoring the Gujarat riots cases. In February 2012, the SIT filed a closure report on the complaint. After this, the petitioners challenged the closure report by applying in the lower court, which was dismissed.

Knocked on the Supreme Court’s door in 2018

An appeal against the closure report was also brought before the Gujarat High Court, which turned it down on 5 October 2017. After this, the petitioners approached the Supreme Court in 2018. The hearing of the matter lasted for 14 days and the petitioners were represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal. The state government was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the SIT.

More than 1000 people killed during the riots

The riots broke out a day after 59 people returning from Ayodhya were killed in the Godhra train burning incident. More than 1000 people died during the riots. Ehsan Jafri was one of the 69 people killed in Ahmedabad’s Gulbarga Society on February 28, 2002, a day after the train burning incident.

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