On Friday, the Indian Supreme Court upheld the already given clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots case and dismissed the appeal by petitioner Zakia Jafri. Earlier Jafri had challenged the clean chit given to PM Modi by the Special Investigation Team.

On Friday, bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice CT Ravikumar pronounced a verdict which read – “We uphold the decision of magistrate in accepting the SIT report and the decision to reject protest petition. This appeal is devoid of merits and dismissed accordingly.”

For the unversed, petitioner Zakia Jafri is the wife of late Congress leader who was murdered during the Gulbarg Society Massacre that occurred during the Gujarat riots. While 35 victims in the incident were burnt alive, over 30 victims went missing. In the aftermath of the killing, a Supreme Court appointed SIT submitted a report to the apex court, and a total of 11 people were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Back in 2012, the SIT absolved the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of having role in the killing of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri. Jafri’s wife filed multiple petitions, challenging the decision.

The Facts of the Matter

Certain incidents and accidents transpiring in a country are written in the shade of dark due to the significance and tragedy of what befall on its citizens. From bomb blasts to riots, India has witnessed several such incidents that are deeply ingrained in its conscience. The 2002 Gujarat Riots was once such incident that ended with the loss of 1,044 lives, and injuries of over 2,500 people.


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SC Upholds Clean Chit to PM Modi

Various people were accused of playing a role in the inter-communal violence, including the then Gujarat CM and now India PM, Narendra Modi. On Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the Special Investigation Team’s verdict of giving a clean chit to PM Modi. The verdict came as the apex court were hearing the petition filed by Zakia Jafri.

Zakia Jafri’s Appeal Rejected

A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, CT Ravikumar read the judgement. “We uphold the decision of the Magistrate in accepting the final report dated 08.02.2012 submitted by the SIT as it is and rejecting the protest petition filed by the appellant (Zakia Jafri)”, the judgement read, as per a Live Law report.


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Who is Zakia Jafri?

For the unversed, the appellant Zakia Jafri is the widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was murdered in the infamous Gulberg Society massacre that transpired during the 2002 riots. Zakia had field a special petition challenging the 2017 verdict of the Gujarat High Court, which had taken into consideration the findings by the Special Investigation Team.

What was Argued in Court?

On Friday, Senior Advocate Kabil Sibal appeared as the petitioner’s counsel and argued how the SIT did not investigate all the available evidences and blamed SIT for having a bias. Mr. Sibal argued that propagation of hatred was aided by the State itself. Mr. Sibal also added that the SIT itself must be investigated for giving conclusions contrary to facts, as per a Live Law review.


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PM Modi was Given Clean Chit in 2012

It should be noted that earlier in 2012, clean chit had been given to Prime Minister Modi after the SIT had put a closure on its report. Along with PM Modi, 63 other persons were also given clean chit, with the SIT report stating that there were no “prosecutable evidences” against the accused.

 

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