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Jafri’s complaint, which had been referred to it by the Supreme Court on April 27, 2009, tested the SIT’s independence and integrity more than any of the nine cases that had been originally assigned to it a year earlier. Jafri’s complaint called upon it to probe allegations against 63 influential persons, including Modi himself. The complaint named Modi as Accused No. 1 for the alleged conspiracy behind the carnage that had taken place in 14 of Gujarat’s 25 districts. A Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat, authorised the SIT not only to “look into” Jafri’s complaint but also to “take steps as required in law”. The legal steps that needed to be taken immediately were self-evident. The SIT was required to examine whether the information contained in Jafri’s complaint amounted to, as Section 154 CrPC put it, “the commission of a cognizable offence”. If so, the SIT would be obliged, under the same provision, to register a first information report (FIR), which is a statutory prelude to an actual investigation.
Society, a middle-class Muslim colony located in Chamanpura, a
Hindu-dominated locality in eastern Ahmedabad, is attacked on
February 28, 2002, a day after coaches of the Sabarmati Express are set afire near the Godhra railway station.
Jafri, 73, a former Congress MP who lived in the Society, made numerous
SOS calls to police officers and various Congress leaders. Police claimed
the mob went out of
control when Jafri opened fire. He was one of the 69 people killed. Most houses in the
neighbourhood were burnt.
- In 2006, Jafri’s widow Zakia sought to register another FIR against Narendra Modi and 62 other top police and administrative officials alleging they had aided, abetted and conspired for the riots.
- In 2008, the Supreme Court appointed a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI director R.K. Raghavan to conduct investigation in these cases.
- In September 2011, the SC refused to pass an order on Modi’s role in the Gulberg Society case and directed concerned magistrate of Ahmedabad to decide the case; SIT submits its report in February 2012.
- In Dec 2013, court rejects Zakia’s petition against SIT’s closure report giving Modi a clean chit in the 2002 riot cases.
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