New Delhi: The amicus curiae report on Zakia Jaffrey case drew sharp reaction from the BJP which rejected its conclusion that Naredra Modi can be prosecuted for "promoting enmity" during the 2002 Gujarat riots while the Congress insisted it has removed all doubts about his role.

BJP stood by Modi, who is being talked about as a future Prime Ministerial candidate of the party, saying the law is guided by due process and evidence and not the opinion of an amicus curiae (who assisists the court) or any lawyer.

"There is no provision under Code of Criminal Procedure or the Evidence Act for the opinion of a lawyer or amicus curiae. Investigation is exclusively a police function and not a lawyer's function. Police is trained for investigations but a lawyer is not," senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said.

The SIT report, a copy of which was handed over to Zakia Jaffrey- widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jaffrey who was killed in the riots- has given a clean chit to Modi.

However, an independent report by amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran, differs from the SIT. He maintains that Modi can be tried under different sections of the IPC for promoting enmity among different groups on ground of religion, for disobeying the law with the intent to cause injury to any person and for creating hatred or ill-will.

BJP was not impressed with these claims.

"Criminal trials are to be conducted under due process of law and not on the basis on opinions. If after considering the opinion of amicus curiae the investigating agency , i.e. SIT is of an opinion then that opinion is final, subject to what a trial court can do," Jaitley said.

Congress however maintained Modi is guilty. "No sensible person can doubt that the Gujarat Chief Minister or BJP did have a responsibility for the post-Godhra riots," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

"If BJP had any morality they would have taken steps ten years back. If the state government was not responsible what was the need for the then NDA Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to remind Modi of Rajdharma," Tewari said.

He alleged that BJP has decided to "suffer from complete amnesia" on the subject and continue its brand of politics.

"Now the decision is in the hands of people. We hope that the people of Gujarat will decide it when the time comes," the Congress MP said.

He, however, also refused to comment on CBI's contention that senior BJP leader L K Advani should also be tried for the Babri mosque demolition case saying Congress has a tradition of not reacting to the issues that are under judicial process.

Tewari, hastened to add that, "what had happened on December 6, 1992, was in full public view and the whole country knows who is responsible for it. No CBI inquiry is required to know it."

(Agencies)

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