January 20, 2010
SC tells Guj riots probe team to come clean
Rakesh Bhatnagar. NEW DELHI
The Supreme Court (SC) has asked the special investigation team (SIT)
probing the 2002 Gujarat riot cases to file its response to the
allegations that it has withheld some vital evidence regarding the
involvement of ruling politicians and top ranking bureaucracy.
A bench of justices DK. Jain, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam on Tuesday
asked SIT chief RK Raghavan to submit his written response within two
weeks. The court will hear a petition filed on this issue by NGO
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) on March 15.
Solicitor general Gopal Subramanium also referred to the Ahmedabad
trial court’s order on September 7 last year, seeking evidence from
the SIT. The trial court had sought the record of phone calls of
senior police officers and politicians during the riots that followed
the Godhra train burning incident, Subramanium added.
The magistrate had also passed an order on CJP’s petition before the
SC seeking reconstitution of SIT on the grounds that many police
officers, including Geeta Johri, were from Gujarat Police and were
suspected of not conducting the probe properly.
The court turned down the demand for removal of senior counsel Harish
Salve as amicus curae in the cases relating to post-Godhra riots.
Counsel Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for rights activists, told the court
that they had no faith in Salve as he had earlier appeared for Gujarat
government in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.