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Live Updates [Gujarat Riots Case LIVE UPDATES] SC Hearing On Zakia Jafri's Plea

Gujarat Riots Case Supreme Court LIVE UPDATES

Nov 11, 2021 Bench rises for the day

Hearing will continue next on November 16, Tuesday.

Nov 11, 2021

The person who filed the FIR against Aaj Tak was Arvind Pandya, a Public Prosecutor, whose sting interview was taken by the Tehalka journalsit.

Sibal : NHRC passes an order to authenticate the Tehelka tape. The SIT records 13 individuals whose extra-judicial confession was obtained. The dates of the sting and statements are recorded.

Sibal lists out names including Arvind Pandeya, Anil Patel, Haresh Bhat, Babu Bajrangi, Bharat Bhat, Deepak Shah, Dhawal Patel, Demant bhat, Dilip Trivedi, Prhalad Raju, Chawal, mangilal Jain, Kakul Pathak, Suresh Richard.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal says that the defence of the person in the sting that he was only reading out a script given to him was rejected by the Gujarat High Court.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal mentions that there was an FIR against TV Today for telecast made by Aaj Tak of the Tehalka sting reports under the name "Operation Kalank". The High Court quashed the FIR.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal refers to a statement of a police officer in the report on anonymity that sword distribution was rampant and swords were given to any volunteer who paid Rs 200.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : Police officers have a different view. Holding up one confiscated sword, a police officer had said, 

"Look, most of them are more than four feet long. They slice through flesh on touch. Just touch the edge to a man's throat and dead". 

"I haven't tried", Sibal adds.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal refers to Haresh Bhat statement "Swords and trishuls are not weapons but divine instruments used by Gods". 

 

"I told you he is a philosophical man!", Sibal adds.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal refers to the representative image of the riots -a picture published by Indian Express of a man with saffron headband brandishing a sword. 

Sibal says there were reports of mass distribution of swords in Hindu areas.

Nov 11, 2021

"No reasonable doubt has been proved against the CD & DVDs(of Tehalka sting) which are produced as evidence" - Sibal quotes from the Naroda Patya judgment.

'I don't think SIT even maintained a case diary' - Sibal.

Sibal : They (SIT) never took the statements of the NHRC, they never took the statements of the Citizens Tribunal, they never took the statements of women organizations. And all of them had indicted the police!

Sibal : There were two ministers at the Ahmedabad city control room...

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal reads out the portions of Naroda Patya judgment saying that the extra-judicial confessions made to Tehalka journalist are reliable and it was safe to convict the accused on the basis of them.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal reads out the portions of the judgment in the Naroda Patya case which say that the tapes of Tehalka sting operation are admissible in evidence and are authentic.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : They(SIT) examine him (Ashish Khetan, Tehalka journalist) as a prosecution witness there (in Naroda Patya case) but do not produce him in this case.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : In the Naroda Patya matter, Ashish Khetan (The Tehalka Sting journalist) was a prosecution witness. In this case, 15 DVDs and 5 CDs were produced on record.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : He admits to having killed people! The question to be asked is, what was the SIT doing? There was no investigation. There was only effort to protect, to protect the VHP people, Bajrang dal people, to protect the policemen, the bureaucracy.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal refers to Haresh Bhat's statements to Tehalka journalist regarding police inaction.

"Police just stood by. They supported us", Sibal quotes his statements. 

"I killed 3-4 Muslims in Baroda", Sibal quotes Bhat's statement.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal refers to statements of Haresh Bhat regarding distribution of trishuls to youth in Gujarat. 

"Trident(trishul) is a mentality", Sibal quotes his statement.

 "Very philosophical man!", Sibal adds.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal now refers to statements relating to Haresh Bhat, then a Bajrang Dal leader and later elected as MLA. 

Sibal refers to statements of Bhat regarding 100s of cases getting resolved with collusion of Public Prosecutors. 

Sibal says there are statements of Haresh Bhat regarding smuggling of bombs and weapons. 

"We are not on the truth of this. The points is, these had to be investigated", Sibal adds.

Nov 11, 2021

'It is settled law that extra-judicial confession, if true and voluntary, can be relied to convict the accused' - Sibal reads out from the SC precedent.

Sibal reads out from the judgment to state that conviction can be based on extra-judicial confession, if it is found to be reliable and voluntary.

Sibal : This Anil Patel is not investigated, never arrested. See what the closure report says about Anil Patel. No reference to this Patel, despite the transcript. This is an offence in itself. This is enough to convict the man.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal says extra-judicial confessions are enough to convict a person. He refers to SC judgment reported in (2001) 2 SCC 205.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal to bench : "Just read it for yourself. I don't want to read it aloud".

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal reads out certain statements of a person "I will not stop until I kill...bolt them and kill them all..loot them, finish them". Sibal then says "I don't want to read them all. These are not the kind of statements which can be read in public"

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal mentions that the DVDs of Tehalka sting were found authentic by the CBI itself.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal reads out statements of Babu Bajrangi (convicted in Naroda Patya massacre) from the sting report that if the police wanted, they could have stopped it, and that they had the support of the police.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal reads out portions from Tehelka sting report where Arvind Pandeya (Public Prosecutor) talks of threatening Sreekumar (Intelligence Officer) to not speak against the government.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal refers to conversations in the sting about the making of bombs in the cracker factory of a VHP person.

Sibal : What more you need to investigate? Courts have convicted for lesser evidence, forget this kind of evidence.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : During the sting it was disclosed that VHP played a lead role in the riots.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal now referring to Tehelka sting reports.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : Had preventive measures been taken, all this could have been avoided.

Justice Khanwilkar, referring to the messages : All this is happening in Faizabad? Were persons moving from only Gujarat? 

Sibal - This is the Sabarmati Expresss, Milords.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal refers to State Intelligence messages regarding acts of violence committed by Kar Sevaks while returning from Ayodhya in Sabarmati Express before reaching Godhra. Sibal says there were intelligence reports regarding communal tension.

Nov 11, 2021

Mr. Sibal Reads out portions of Statement of Ashok Narayan, ACS Home, No. 2 officer in Gujarat.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : Kindly look at page 1 and 2. The first SIB message 07.02.2002 from DCP to DGP Guj and all police stations warning of communal mobilisation. Another similar message from Upadhyay to DGP UP. [Reads out messages].

Nov 11, 2021 Hearing Commences

Sibal continues : The SIT without any judicial examination accepted the statement of Bhat. So, SIT accepted that. A normal prosecutor would have arrested the man on this statement and prosecuted him. Instead of arresting the man they accepted the statement.

Nov 11, 2021

To be noted No arrest, no curfew declared. 

1st element is - Build up of communal mobilisation at pg 8. Straightaway cognisance could have been taken (by Magistrate based on Tehalka) 

Bench rises. To continue after lunch.

Nov 11, 2021

Kapil Sibal: it deals with the way in which police officers operated. Not reaching the sport where offences have been committed, destroying the records, not relying upon authenticated tapes

In the context of the environment today UAPA would have been invoked. 

It is an exhaustive Protest petition. It deals with all aspects, all data records, the way police acted, not taking prevention measures, role of PPs, not reaching spots, producing after several years, not relying upon authenticated tapes - none of that was done. All of this not dealt by SIT or either the Magistrate or High Court. We have pointed out what was not done, what was not done, what was ought to be done.

Nov 11, 2021

Pg 684 - Failure to heed reports of IB both on 27.02, prior to 27.02 after 27.02. 

Intimidation of officers - some instances are given. 690 is the Finale. We set out what sections of IPC could be invoked. 

Bench - all 120B. Essentially conspiracy. 

Sibal - There is specific offences.

Nov 11, 2021

SIBAL: How did they (swayam sevak) come there (hospital). Not the family members, but the RSS people. Obviously, Jaideep Patel informed them,come there. 

Next is hate speeches uninvestigated. Kindly come to the bottom para 972. 

Next Messages related to mass mobilisation and hate speech - We have given name, time and place and messages 

Pg 643 para 978 criminal mobilization of VHP. Your Lordship can look at the slogans. That was all building up to the riots that was going to take place. That was in 27.02 itself.

Kindly see 984 - This material was all with SIT but was willfully ignored. Then I’ll skip the rest and come to pg 647 at 989 - [Ambivalence of SIT of state support to bandh] 

Then Milords 652 is with deployment of army central paramilitary forces. I’ll deal with this later. I am pointing here is the statement of Ashok Narayan, ACS of Home.

Kindly come to Para 1021 pg 667 -[Communal crime are grave crime and officers to investigate it] 

Bench - How is this relevant for larger conspiracy? For this inaction SIT came in. There is distinction in inaction during crime and inaction in investigation. We just indicated to you. 

Sibal - There is a manual. The officers were not following the manual. The question is why did that happen and why did SIT not investigate that. 

Bench - We thought we were focusing on the larger conspiracy argument of yours.

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal: Kindly have a look at page Milords 923, Landline phone calls were destroyed. Under whose instructions Jafri’s phone calls were destroyed. (Reluctance of SIT to investigate - Calculated design to shield and not punish the guilty.) Who is involved, what manner never been looked at.

Mr. Zammerunddin Shah was not investigated. Gill's statement not recorded. In a tragedy of this manner, police logs were destroyed, wireless destroyed. Why destroyed, who gave orders. Why was the Magistrate mute on these issues?

I go back to a judgment I had cited. One para I’ll read to your lordships. What is the duty of the Magistrate and the HC. [chargesheet not to be blindly followed, application of mind crucial]

The investigating agency is duty bound to see the victim has the satisfaction that the rule of law is honoured. (Otherwise) the victim is doubly targeted. The investigative agency to see the collection of evidence is pure. Otherwise there is no need for an investigating agency

Kindly see Pg 666 para 1034. It’s interesting. Just 5 days after the appointment of SIT a batch was destroyed.

Let look at pg 637, Milords - Heading - Messages related to funeral processions ignored by SIT para 956. That means afternoon 27.02. Bodies reached Ahmedabad on 28.02. [prior warning of communal violence was provided via messages]

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : I am going to show to your lordships how the VHP people are talking to public prosecutors and prosecutors saying yes they had talked to them. What kind of investigation? What kind of trial?

All this is analysed not dealt with. At 571 - Delinquency of public servants. SIT proposed departmental action against MK Tandon and Gondia. But, we don’t know what happened, Milords.

Kindly come to 576. He (PC Pandey) is the commissioner. I will show you the graph. They were in office throughout, didn’t go out and had 3 conversation with the accused. This is scandalous. SIT has not investigated any of this.

What was the commissioner doing and why was he doing. We know what but we don't know why. That had to be investigated. He was sitting in his office all day long, he was not doing anything.

Sibal: As an accused he (Mr. Pandey) became DGP Gujarat. The journey from accused to DGP is a little disconcerting. He said he doesn't know anything. Tandon was on the spot and he had talked to him several times. Para 873

Sibal: Each of these persons' call data was analysed. Milords straightaway skip to Pg 596 para 509. We found this out from call data record and all this ought to have been looked at and investigated pg 607 para 919 - Ashish Khaitan Statement. We got to know about this in 2007 when the sting was done. We had no information at that point in time (at the time of complaint).

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : There is an interesting chart. Milords he (police official, Ahmedabad) says the funeral processions were peaceful in Ahmedabad. Messages show there was nothing peaceful about the processions.

Sibal says RK Raghavan, the SIT head, could not understand Gujarati and the messages and communicates were translated to him by the complainant. "This should have been done by the SIT", he says.

Sibal : . The violence started on 27th itself. So nobody had to wait till next day to declare curfew. Kindly see finding of SIT - That no violence, no arson. SIT was concluding contrary to facts. In fact such SITs should be investigated.

Sibal : The bodies arrive at 28th morning. But violence had already erupted in Ahmedabad. Kindly see the timing, timing is also given . This has all been analysed by us.

Sibal mentions that SIT head RK Raghavan was made the Ambassador for Cyprus later. "All these people who "collaborated" were rehabilitated later. Raghavan was made Ambassador"- he says

Nov 11, 2021

Sibal : Why was the SIT set up? Because the National Human Rights Commission moved the Supreme Court saying that the local police were not investigating properly. They did not want to give the matters to the local police.

Sibal : This is why no FIR was no lodged before the local police in my case. Because otherwise the local police would have investigated the matter.

Sibal reads out from the Supreme Court judgment in the NHRC case transferring the cases to SIT.

Sibal reads out the SC direction to the SIT to look into the complaint sent by Zakia Jafri to the then Gujarat DGP.

Sibal : SIT was not like a local police. It was sui generis

Sibal says that in the Gujarat riots, Muslim residential colonies and establishments were identified beforehand. 

Sibal refers to 1984 anti-Sikh riots. "In 1984,I was living at Maharani Bagh. house of two friends of mine, who were Sikhs, were pre-identified. The mob came to attack only those houses"

Gujarat Riots Case: Supreme Court to continue hearing today the petition filed by Zakia Jafri challenging the SIT's clean chit to the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi & other high functionaries in the #GujaratRiots of 2002.

Senior Adv Kapil Sibal starts arguments. He refers to Article 21 of the Constitution.

Sibal : A person can be deprived of life and liberty if under a procedure he stands convicted - that is another element of A21. The Cr.P.C. sets the procedure.

Sibal refers to Sec 157 CrPC - Investigating Officer has to investigate all facts and circumstances of the case. He investigates the facts and if necessary arrest the accused. He has to record the day by day proceedings in a case diary.

Sibal : The umbilical cord which connects the Criminal Procedure Code to Article 21 is pure and unbiased investigation.

Sibal : If you accept a potential accused's statement, there is no investigation. Then your Special Investigation Team is only "SIT". It is only SITTING.

Sibal : At the heart of the process of investigation is tracing out, finding out. 

Sibal refers to the etymology of the word "Investigation" to say it means "Tracing Out".

Sibal : The whole process of investigation becomes polluted when you want to protect somebody or implicate somebody. The purity of the process is the most important aspect of investigation. If that purity vanishes, we are left with nothing.

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