Citizens for Justice and Peace


08, May 2017

August 01, 2013
Press Release


day of
Arguments in Zakia Jafri Protest Petition

The conclusions drawn by the SIT in its final report on
complainant Zakia JafriÂ’s allegation that the political
executive and state bureaucracy barring a few upright officials
had wilfully misled statutory and Constitutional bodies like the
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Central Election
Commission (CEC) are extremely perverse meant to facilitate the
case of the state government and powerful accused.

Arguing for the tenth day for complainant Zakia Jafri and
Citizens for Justice and Peace, advocate Aparna Bhat stressed
that despite repeated observations and findings from independent
authorities like the NHRC (April-July 2002) and subsequent
reports, CEC (August 2002), Gujarat High Court and Supreme Court
that deliberate and systematic attempts were made by chief
functionaries of the political executive to paint a false
picture of normalcy, repeated indictments had documented how the
ground level situation in Gujarat was otherwise. Violence and
rioting continued even while the CEC visited the state in August
2002, Muslim students could not give their examinations in the
state and as late as February 8, 2012, the Gujarat High Court
indicted the government on its obdurate refusal to re-construct
and repair shrines and places of worship belonging to the
minority community.

Both SIT reports, the one submitted before the Supreme Court (Malhotra,
12.5.2010) and the final report (Shukla, 8.2.2012) deliberately
made light of this serious allegation in the complaint, Bhat
argued misrepresenting the findings of the CEC and believing
instead A-37 former chief secretary Subha Rao over two officers
former ADGP RB Sreekumar who had spoken up against the false
representations by others before the CEC. Para 20 of the CEC
Report in fact clearly chose to accept the State Intelligence
BureauÂ’s independent assessment of widespread disturbance in 20
districts of the state, continued violence in July-August 2002
and an all pervasive sense of insecurity and fear among the
minority community. In fact the CEC also recorded how its team
had found that powerful accused roamed free, having got bail
from the courts and plaint prosecutors had made a farce of the
criminal justice system in the state. Worst of all, the CEC
while refusing to bow to the stateÂ’s coercive demand to hold
elections in August 2002 (the assembly had been dissolved on
July 19, 2002) had remarked that when electoral rolls were in
disarray, over a hundred thousand displaced from their villages
and homes in cities, how could elections, if held be free or
fair? The SIT mocking this finding of an independent and
statutory CEC that had relied upon two independent officers of
the state government, chose to believe those top echelons of the
state administration and bureaucracy who had connived and
conspired with the chief executive to misrepresent the situation
on the ground.

What was the SITÂ’s motives in accepting Subha RaoÂ’s statement at
face value and ignoring the findings of the CEC? It is for this
Court to arrive at a conclusion at what lay behind the SITÂ’s
motive to misrepresent such critical evidence, Bhat submitted.

SIT counsel, advised by AK Malhotra tried at the onset of the
proceedings to prevent any arguments about the NHRC and CEC
Reports saying, “Who is NHRC?” to which Bhatt retorted that she
was fully entitled to prefer her arguments on the basis of the
criminal complaint of Zakia Jafri dated 8.6.2006 and the poor
investigation that SIT carried out despite all the resources at
its command.

Despite the fact that the criminal complaint dated 8.6.2006
specifically made allegations of the deliberate and callous
destruction of 270 Dargahs and Masjid, and even quoted
extensively from Justice Krishna Iyer, PB Sawant and Hosbet
Suresh’s Concerned Citizens Tribunal Report (Crimes Against
Humanity 2002), the SIT had simply ignored this aspect of the
mass crimes that were committed. Quoting from the Gujarat High
Court judgement dated 8.2.2012 that came down heavily on the
Gujarat government for its attitude with regard to the
destruction of minority places of worship, Ms Bhat stressed that
several independent, statutory and Constitutional body had found
serious and grave complicity in the handling of the post Godhra
carnage. Yet it was a shame that the SIT had adduced despite
substantial and significant evidence that no wrongs had been
committed by the powerful.

Attached are copies of the CEC Report and Subha RaoÂ’s statement
dated 23.3.2010 recorded by AK Malhotra.

Arguments will continue on Friday.


92-Shri Kuldeep Narayan Sharma-08-03-10.pdf  

130801 LOD Subv NHRC CEC SC

92-Shri Kuldeep Narayan Sharma-08-03-10.pdf  

D-39 order No. 464-GJ-LA-2002, dated 16.08.2002 passed by EC of India, New Delhi


105-Shri G. Subba Rao-23-03-10


HC Judgments on Religious Structures dtd 12-2-08 & Orders of SC


Teesta Setalvad, Secretary

Other Trustees:  

I.M. Kadri,                Nandan Maluste      

Cyrus Guzder        Javed Akhtar                       
Alyque Padamsee
Anil Dharker          Ghulam Peshimam  
        Rahul Bose                            

Javed Anand         Cedric




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