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Gujarat Riots Case: High Court Verdict Likely Today on Zakia Jafri's Plea Against Clean Chit to PM Narendra Modi

Zakia Jafri is the widow of Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, who was among 68 people killed when a mob set his house in Gulberg Society on fire on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident.

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Updated:September 26, 2017, 9:34 AM IST
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Gujarat Riots Case: High Court Verdict Likely Today on Zakia Jafri's Plea Against Clean Chit to PM Narendra Modi
Zakia Jafri showing a photograph of her late husband Ehsan Jafri (File photo: Reuters)
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New Delhi: The Gujarat High Court is likely to pronounce its order on Tuesday on a petition filed by Zakia Jafri challenging the clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.

Zakia Jafri is the widow of Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, who was among 68 people killed when a mob set his house in Gulberg Society on fire on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident.

Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat at the time.

Jafri and Citizen for Justice and Peace, an NGO run by activist Teesta Setalvad, had filed the criminal review petition against a magistrate court's order which upheld the closure report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Zakia Jafri’s petition demanded to make Modi and 59 others accused for being party to "the larger criminal conspiracy" behind the post-Godhra riots of 2002. Hearing on the petition before Justice Sonia Gokani concluded on July 3.

The SIT, which probed Jafri's complaint alleging a deeper conspiracy, submitted before the High Court that its investigation was monitored by the apex court, and its report was largely accepted by all.

The lower court looked into all aspects and held that there was no need to investigate the matter further from the angle of larger conspiracy involving the state functionaries, it said.

Zakia Jafri's lawyer Mihir Desai had argued that the magistrate's court did not even consider the option of rejecting the report and ordering a fresh probe.

The lower court ignored Supreme Court's guidelines and did not consider signed statements of witnesses which suggested that there was a conspiracy behind riots, he said.

The magistrate ignored submissions of key witnesses such as (former IPS officers) Sanjiv Bhatt, RB Shreekumar, and Rahul Sharma, and ignored findings of Tehelka magazine, advocate Desai argued.

The SIT filed its closure report giving a clean chit to Modi and others on February 8, 2012 before the metropolitan magistrate's court.

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