Gujarat riots: SC to hear Jafri's plea on April 13
The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed for hearing on April 13 the plea of Zakia Jafri, wife of slain MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the Special Investigation Team's (SIT's) clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots, saying it would not entertain any request of adjournment on the next date. Here are more details.
Solicitor General opposed the plea for adjournment
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar took note of the request of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Zakia, that matter be heard sometime in April as several advocates are busy in the Maratha reservation case being heard presently by a five-judge bench. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat Government, opposed the plea for adjournment and sought a hearing next week.
No request for adjournment will be entertained: SC
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was appearing for the SIT also opposed the letter for adjournment and said that the matter should be decided. "Put this case for hearing on April 13. No request for adjournment will be entertained," ordered the bench which also comprised of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari.
SC had earlier fixed the hearing for April 2020
The top court, in February 2020, had fixed the case for hearing on April 14, 2020, saying the matter had been adjourned many times and will have to be heard someday. Zakia's counsel had earlier told the apex court that notice needs to be issued in the plea as it relates to an alleged larger conspiracy from February 27, 2002, to May 2002.
Who was Ehsan Jafri and what exactly happened?
Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people killed at Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, killing 59 people and triggering Gujarat riots.
SIT gave Modi a clean chit in 2012
On February 8, 2012, SIT filed a closure report giving a clean chit to Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was no prosecutable evidence against them. Zakia filed a petition in the apex court in 2018 challenging the Gujarat High Court's October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the decision of the SIT.
Supreme Court monitored the SIT probe: Gujarat HC
The High Court in its October 2017 order said that the SIT probe was monitored by the Supreme Court. However, it partly allowed Zakia's petition as far as its demand of a further investigation was concerned. It said that the petitioner can approach an appropriate forum, including the Magistrate's Court, a division bench of the High Court, or the Supreme Court seeking further investigation.