SC adjourns for July Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging SIT’s clean chit to Modi, others in 2002 Godhra riots

Zakia Jafri has challenged the clean chit by the SIT to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi (File Photo)

The Supreme Court Monday adjourned for July a plea by Zakia Jafri, challenging the clean chit by the SIT to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 Godhra riots.

Zakia Jafri is the widow of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who, along with 68 other people, was killed by a mob which attacked the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002. Five years after the riots, Zakia had alleged that cases such as Naroda Patiya, Naroda Gam and Gulberg were part of a larger conspiracy, and made allegations against Modi and the officers from the state machinery.

In 2012, a metropolitan court acquitted all 58 accused in the post-Godhra riots in which 69 people were killed, which was challenged by Zakia. The Gujarat High Court, in 2017, upheld the judgment of the court and rejected Zakia's allegations of a "larger conspiracy".

Zakia has challenged the judgment of the Gujarat High Court which upheld the clean chit given to several politicians and senior bureaucrats by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in its closure report, citing lack of "prosecutable evidence" against them.

The petition further says the High Court refused to interfere with the Magistrate's order "despite large amount of documentation and contemporaneous evidence that existed which made out a triable case against all the accused".

Zakia says in her petition that "as contemporaneous official data began to be released, including the intelligence collected by the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), it transpired that the SIB had information about systematic movements of 'kar sevaks' and accumulation of arms, which was ignored and facilitated by inaction".

On January 15, the Supreme Court posted the date of hearing after four weeks. The court had, on December last year, adjourned the plea till January.