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2002 Gujarat Riots Case: HC Rejects Zakia Jafri's Plea Against SIT Clean Chit to PM Narendra Modi

File photo of Zakia Jafri

File photo of Zakia Jafri

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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Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected Zakia Jafri's plea challenging lower court order upholding SIT’s clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots.

Justice Sonia Gokani rejected the larger conspiracy charge, saying that it was not accepted by the Supreme court. “It (larger conspiracy) was already discussed by the Supreme Court in Sanjiv Bhatt's matter and dismissed by it. I do not want to go into that, therefore I reject this plea for larger conspiracy,” Justice Gokani said.

However, she said that the petitioner can approach a higher court for further investigation in the case. “The magistrate was not right in saying that it had limited power with regards to further investigation,” Justice Gokani said.

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 of 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 a larger conspiracy involving the state functionaries, it said.

(With PTI inputs)


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