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Swati Bhan Ahmedabad, Sept 12, DHNS
Minutes after the order was passed asking the trial court to act on the complaint, local BJP workers launched an SMS campaign, claiming Modi was given a clean chit in the Gulberg Society massacre case.
Later, the state government claimed that while “vested interests wanted to subvert the state government by making false allegations,” the Supreme Court “has not paid heed to the allegations and expressed confidence in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report, judiciary of Gujarat.”
Gujarat government spokesperson Jay Narayan Vyas said that “Government of Gujarat has been committed from the beginning to punish the criminals and to deliver justice to the victims.” Vyas also took a dig at the rights activists and accused them of having delayed the process of justice.
“From the beginning there were certain vested interests who never wanted victims to get justice, and these elements are working hard to obstruct the judicial process by various means and to give a political tint to this case. Such important cases have been stayed for six years because of the hindrance of these elements,” he said.
Vyas said “the apex court’s verdict has completely rooted out the serious allegation levelled against Gujarat government.”
However, Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Congress MP Ahsaan Jafri, expressed her disappointment over the order. “What do I expect from the lower court if I did not get justice from the Supreme Court?” Zakia asked, adding that the trial court is again in Gujarat. She nevertheless vowed to continue her fight for justice.
Her son Tanvir Jafri, however, told the media that he is satisfied with the order. Lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, counsel for Narendra Modi, had a different take on the order, Jethmalani said that “Supreme Court’s order practically disposed off the case.”
“Modi was never an accused,” he claimed adding that Zakia Jafri had filed a complaint and the SIT was asked to look into it. “They found no evidence against Modi. Now the SIT is asked to submit its final report to the trial court. The trial court is not going to make Modi an accused when there is no evidence against him,” he added.
But advocate Mukul Sinha, who is representing riot victims before the Nanavati Commission, said that the verdict cannot be termed a clean chit for the chief minister as it was a legal process that has been followed and now the lower court will decide on the Zakia petition .
“The Supreme Court has asked SIT to submit its report to the magistrate court and left it open for the SIT to file a chargesheet or a closure,” Sinha said, adding that in the process, the order de-facto has short circuited the process of filing an FIR and fast tracked the process of adjudication. “Now everything will depend on the SIT’s final report,” Sinha added.
From Rediff News : For the last nine years Modi and his supporters were pointing to the fact that his name does not appear in even one of 4,256 FIRs filed in the Gujarat riots case by victims or their relatives.
However, justifiably a question was raised — when around 1,000 innocent people are killed then someone, somewhere and somehow in government should be made responsible. The Indian State should not look like a banana republic. The command and control structure to keep peace should be fixed. Whoever fails in law and order in times like riots should be made accountable.
People fighting against Modi wanted the court to make him accountable for failing to maintain law and order and protect the minorities.
After hearing about the SIT’s probe, the highest court of the land has gone back to rulebook by saying that let the due course of law take place. This is the reminder of the elementary law. The judgment indirectly conveys that the highest court of land has refused to take decision in the Zakia case or on the differing versions of the SIT or Amicus Curiae. It has sent the ball back to where it normally goes in the Indian legal system.
Related reading : Narendra Modi: BJP celebrates after SC’s call on post 2002 Godhra riots…