Citizens for Justice and Peace

Media on Witness Pleas

19, Oct 2010


October 19, 2010

Witness Plea to Probe Destruction of Records Unfortunate

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) terms as unfortunate
the rejection, by the Gujarat Sessions and Gujarat High
Court, of the eyewitnessÂ’ pleas to examine those witnesses
who could throw a light on the destruction of police control
room records of 2002 as also the station diary entries of
the critical period relating to the carnage of 2002.

Eye witnesses and
victim survivors had, through an application for further
investigation under Section 173 (8) of the CrPC on 17.9.2009 first
recovered evidence from the State to admit that records of the PCR
and other documentary evidence were destroyed while the Supreme
Court was seized of the matter in 2007. This documentary evidence
had not been part of the charge sheet submitted by the Special
Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Apex Court before the
witnesses approached the Trial Court.

Applications to the
Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe this destruction of records,
revealed after the agency was compelled to submit details before the
Court, went unheeded. Formal Pleas to the Trial Court and thereafter
to the High Court in September 2010 and October 2010 to examine lower
down police officials, as to the motives and instructions behind
destruction of valuable documentary evidence, have been rejected.
These pleas by eyewitnesses and victim survivors also argued for the
examination of those two persons who had spoken to Shri Ahsan Jafri,
former Member of Parliament before he was butchered by a pre-organised
and bloody mob.

The matter will now
be appealed before the Apex Court. Transparency and accountability in
the investigation process requires that every aspect of the available
evidence, including the allegations of deliberate destruction of
evidence should be probed dispassionately instead of being swept under
the carpet.

for Justice and Peace, Teesta Setalvad

Trustees and Office Bearers: IM Kadri (President), Nandan Maluste
(Vice President), Teesta Setalvad (Secretary), Arvind Krishnaswamy
(Treasurer) and Alyque Padamsee, Cyrus Guzder, Javed Akhtar, Rahul
Bose, Javed Anand, Anil Dharker, Cedric Prakash, Ghulam Pesh Imam

of India

15 OCT 10 Gujarat EDN


Witnesses plea
rejected in Gulbarg case


Ahmedabad: The Gujarat HC on Thursday turned down an application by
witnesses in the Gulbarg Society massacre case to hear all those
people to whom former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri spoke to during the
riots on February 18, 2002.

Jafri was killed along with 68 others in a colony in Chamanpura on the
fateful day. He had made frantic calls to his acquaintances seeking
protection against the huge mob that had gathered around his colony.
The application was rejected by special judge BU Joshi on the ground
that 22 people will not be able throw any further light on the 67
accused in the case.

Nine of 22 people are policemen, who were present at police control
rooms, who could provide information on whether there was any
interference by any politician during riots. The witnesses believe
their statements may reveal details about suspected larger conspiracy
angle. Besides this, Congress leader Badruddin Sheikh and JafriÂ’s
close acquaintance Rehmatullah Pathan were sought to be examined,
among others.

Earlier, a few witnesses deposed before the court that Jafri even
called up CM Narendra Modi and sought help, but then he allegedly
abused former MP.

When justice Joshi rejected the application, aggrieved with the lower
courtÂ’s decision, the witnesses moved the high court, but justice Akil
Kureshi upheld the trial courtÂ’s order and turned down the


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