The Supreme Court today (4 February, 2020) in a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari
said that the petition challenging the Special Investigation Team (SIT)
that gave clean chit to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in 2002 Godhra riots has been adjourned many times and the court will have to listen to it someday. The court has fixed 14 April, 2020 as the date of hearing of plea by Zakia Jafri, wife of slain (Member of Parliament) MP Ehsan Jafri.
Aparna Bhat, counsel appearing on behalf of Zakia sought an adjournment and urged the court to fix a date after the Holi vacation citing the reason that issue in the matter is contentious. The bench said, “It has been adjourned so many times, whatever it is, we will have to hear it someday. Take one date and make sure you all are available.”
Zakia had filed the petition at the Supreme Court in 2018 challenging the Gujarat High Court order dated 5 October, 2017. The order of the High Court rejected Zakia’s plea against the decision of the SIT.
Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people who were killed at Gulberg Society on 28 February, 2002, a day after the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, killing 59 people and instigating the infamous riots in Gujarat, that lead to the denial of a United States visa to Narendra Modi in 2005. The visa was denied in pretext of “severe violations of religious freedom.” Prime Minister Modi is the only person denied a visa to the U.S. under this provision. In 2013 a court had rejected a petition filed by Zakia Jafri to prosecute Mr. Modi citing “insufficient prosecution evidence”
, after which PM Modi tweeted, “Truth alone triumphs.”
Author: Nandini Gandhi