Monday, November 17, 2014

Supreme Court sets 3-month deadline for Gulberg Society case

NB- This is one of the 9 cases connected to the 2002 post-Godhra riots. The world at large needs to be reminded of the continuing process of criminalisation of the Indian polity.. Readers may kindly study the numerous instances given below of contempt for law and justice on the part of various political and official executives- DS

Observing that “people are languishing in jail for over 10 years,” the Supreme Court on Thursday asked a Sessions Court to complete the trial in the Gulberg Society case, one of the nine cases connected to the 2002 post-Godhra riots, in three months. Twelve years after a mob attacked the Gulberg society at Chamanpura in Ahmedabad on February 22, 2002, killing 71 persons, including former parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri, a Special Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu said no time should be wasted to bring a closure to the case.
The Gulberg case trial had lumbered on through periodic retirements of trial judges who heard the case, procedural delays and a flurry of complaints filed by victims against the conduct of the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The case has a total 73 accused. Of this, five continue to remain in jail, denied bail. The case has 580 witnesses.
The case now has a new judge, following the retirement of the previous one. Principal Sessions Judge, Ahmedabad, P.V. Desai, has been assigned to preside over the case. Chief Justice Dattu, however, said the judgment in the case should be prepared but not pronounced by the trial court until further notice from the apex court. When SIT chief and former CBI director R.K. Raghavan submitted that the trial court was unlikely to complete the trial in three months, the court insisted that trial proceedings should be finished expeditiously and any delay communicated to the Bench.
The Gulberg case has had a chequered history since the Supreme Court started monitoring the nine riots-related cases after a petition from the National Human Rights Commission. The cases pertain to the riots in Gulberg Society, Ode, Sardarpura, Narodao Gaon, Naroda Patya, Machipith, Tarsali, Pandarwada and Raghavapura.
SC Orders Day to Day Trial in Gulberg Case  Witness Survivors have filed their Affidavit-in Reply in the said SCR but were distressed that no hearings have taken place in the Gujarat High Court and the entire the Trial process has been stalled. Judge BJ Dhandha retired in September 2013 and another Judge KK Bhatt has been assigned to hear the Trial but not a single hearing has taken place... The closure report in the Zakia Jafri case was filed on 8.2.2012 before the Magistrate (a lower court than the Special Court hearing the Gulberg trial) and the protest petition therein was argued through 2013. While the Magistrate hearing the case rejected the protest petition by it’s Order dated 26-12-2013, the SIT is seeking shelter under this to conceal critical evidence about the allegedly criminal conduct of Tandon and Gondia before a higher court, the Sessions Court hearing this, i.e. the Gulberg trial... In effect therefore, the Trial in the Gulberg Society Carnage case had been completely stalled since July 2012 largely because of the SIT’s reluctance to make available relevant documents...

See also:
‘(the counter revolution)… tried many forms and devices, but soon learned that it could come to power only with the help of the state machine and never against it... in the centre of the counter revolution stood the judiciary.’ Franz Neumann
James Petras: Capitalists, Technocrats and Fanatics: The Ascent of a New Power Bloc
Very short list of examples of rule of law in India
The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi