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Citizens for Justice and Peace

27oct07

08, May 2017



Press Release

October 12,
2007


SC:
Intervene to protect lives of Witnesses, Summon Tapes


 
The
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) through its secretary Teesta Setalvad
has filed an intervention application in the pending cases before the
Supreme Court today. asking for the recent Telekha sting operation
“Gujarat Ka Kalank,
 [print issue :”The Truth –Gujarat 2002 –In the
Words of the Men who Did It”] to be summoned, examined as evidence and
hearings of the case be expedited immediately. The application states
that the lives of survivors and witnesses is in serious danger today with
those accused of mass crimes roaming free, gloating about accused who
raped, killed made arms and conspired with the topmost authorities in the
state.
This intervention application was filed in the transfer case
related to the Godhra mass arson, Gulberg Massacre, Naroda gaon and Patiya
massacres, Sardarpura and Ode carnages that have been pending since they
were stayed in November 2003.

 

In the application, the
CJP has stated that the brazen admission and gloating by accused of
heinous crimes who are roaming free in Gujarat that they killed and
slaughtered and raped innocents put the lives of over 190 eye witnesses
and victim survivors in grave danger and urged the apex court to treat the
issue with the immediacy of a life threatening situation. The Supreme
Court should intervene and protect lives of witnesses and the evidence
which is likely to be destroyed by the state and its agencies,
immediately.

 

The CJP had in May 2002
itself on the basis of the report of the National Human Rights Commission
report of May 2002, on May 2, 2002 itself asked for an independent
re-investigation into all these major cases and the case has been pending
since then. Thereafter, way back in 2003, following the sensational
exposures in the BEST Bakery case, the National Human Rights Commission
filed a transfer case asking for transfer of all these major trials out of
Gujarat . The CJP intervened in this transfer petition and filed over 65
affidavits by victim survivors and eye witnesses that detailed deliberate
dropping of accused by the police, threats to witnesses, failure of the
lower courts in Gujarat , intimidation by the police etc.   All major eye
witnesses and victims had filed affidavits before the apex court. On
November 21, 2003, considering these affidavits, the Hon’ble Supreme Court
stayed these trials. Since then there have been over two dozen hearings,
each time the CJP and victim survivors have pointed out the failure and
deliberate obfuscations by the Gujarat state machinery. The state of
Gujarat has consistently sought to seek adjournment and postponement of
these cases.

 

The application points
out that ” the safety and security of victim survivors and witnesses given
the high level and brazen patronage of state sponsored violence in the
state is at stake. As  far as criminal trials and the administration of
justice is concerned, these revelations are indicators that evidence may
severely be affected or tampered with by the powers that be in Gujarat and
in the light of this report and the fact that the witnesses are still
being threatened and there are allegations of complicity between the
killers and not just the police and law and order machinery but sections
of the judicary, the security and safety of the victim survivors and
witnesses remains a serious question mark. It   is imperative that the
matters for re-investigation and transfer out of the state of Gujarat, get
heard on an urgent basis. It is submitted that in the last five years, the
State has managed to harm the trials to a large extent already, by
repeated obfuscations, falsehoods and delays and that, any further delay
will only further make   these trials impossible to prosecute.”

 

The prayers in this
application are : a) allow the present application and place the matters
on board  (pending for final hearing) for hearing on an urgent basis; b)
summon the original CDs, transcripts and all other material that may be
available with Tehelka in relation to the aforesaid report to the record
of this Hon’ble Court and to c) pass such other order(s) as this Hon’ble
Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.

 

 

 


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