NEW DELHI – The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the plea of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri’s wife Zakia Jafri challenging the SIT’s clean chit to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots, has been already adjourned many times and it will have to hear it someday as it fixed April 14 next date of hearing.
Advocate Aparna Bhat, representing Zakia Jafri, submitted before a bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari that matter is contentious and sought an adjournment. The court replied that it has already been adjourned so many times, and it has to come up for hearing someday. “Take one date and make sure you all are available,” it said.
Jafri’s counsel then urged the court to schedule the matter after Holi vacation.
Bhat had earlier told the court that it should issue notice on the plea, as the matter is connected with alleged conspiracy from February 27, 2002 to May 2002.
As many as 68 people, including Jafri, were killed by a mob at Gulberg Society on February 28, 2002. The incident occurred after the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra killing 59 people and triggered riots in Gujarat.
The SIT in February 2012 filed a closure report giving clean chit to Modi and 63 others, which included senior officials in the government, citing no concrete evidence was found.
Zakia Jafri moved the top court in 2018 challenging the October 2017 Gujarat High Court order rejecting her plea against the SIT’s decision. She contended her protest petition, filed challenging the SIT closure report, was dismissed without examining the merit in her contentions.
In October 2017, the High Court noted the SIT probe was apex court monitored. However, it partly allowed Zakia Jafri’s petition in connection with further investigation on the matter. The High Court noted the petitioner can move appropriate forum, including the trial court, a division bench of the high court or the apex court seeking further investigation on the matter.