Ahmedabad: A local court on Monday reserved order till February 15 on applications filed by activists including Teesta Setalvad seeking copy of the SIT report on Zakia Jaffery's complaint against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others on 2002 post-Godhra riots. (Agencies)
During the hearing on Monday in the court of metropolitan magistrate M S Bhatt, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team opposed the applications, saying some of the applicants had no locus standi to access the copy. SIT had submitted the report to the court in a sealed cover last week.
SIT lawyer R S Jambuar said only after the court decides to close the complaint holding that there is no evidence, the copies could be given to the "original complainant" (Zakia), as per the Supreme Court's order.
The team also submitted an application, seeking one month's time to submit the statements, evidence and documents related to the probe. The application said that this material was voluminous, and compiled in a haphazard way, so it needed time to serialise the papers before submitting to the court.
Jambuar said the documents were crucial, and must be kept under tight security.
He admitted that SIT had obtained the report of the amicus curie Raju Ramchandran (appointed by the Supreme Court), and had considered it before submitting its own final report.
The amicus curie's report had been dealt with in the SIT's final report, Jambuar added.
On behalf of the applicants, Zakia Jaffery's lawyer S M Vora said her client, being the original complainant, should get a copy, as per the Apex Court's order.
After hearing both the sides, the judge reserved the order till February 15.
I M Munshi, the lawyer of Setalvad, a co-complainant in the case, also demanded a copy of the SIT report, adding that question of locus standi did not arise at this stage.
As the report had been submitted to the court, it had become a public document and anyone could access it, he said.
The lawyer of NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch (which too has sought a copy), advocate Samsahd Pathan, said that only the magistrate's court had the jurisdiction to decide its application, and SIT had no say in the matter.
He also sought permission to inspect the report.
But, the SIT lawyer said anyone cannot access the report, because it had not been filed as a part of investigation of an FIR under section 124 of Criminal Procedure Code.
This report had been filed under section 173 (8) of CrPC, which deals with "further investigations", and hence it was not a public document, he said.
The report was submitted in a sealed cover to the court last Wednesday. It reportedly gives a clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 56 others on the ground that there is no "prosecutable evidence".
The Supreme Court, which set up the SIT, had asked it to investigate whether there was a larger conspiracy behind the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, in which more than 1,200 people were killed.
A complaint had been filed by Setalvad and Zakia Jaffery in connection with the Gulburg Society incident during the riots, where 69 people including Zakia's husband and former Congress MP Ehsaan Jaffery were killed.
SIT questioned several people, including Modi, and filed the first report in the Supreme Court, supposedly giving a clean chit to the chief minister.
The Apex Court then asked senior lawyer Raju Ramchandran to independently assess the SIT report. On September 12, 2011, after going through Ramchandran's report, the Supreme Court did not record any finding, but asked the SIT to submit its final report to the magistrate's court in Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad: A local court on Monday reserved order till February 15 on applications filed by activists including Teesta Setalvad seeking copy of the SIT report on Zakia Jaffery's complaint against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others on 2002 post-Godhra riots.