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Court reserves order on Zakia’s plea to open SIT report

A metropolitan magistrate’s court in Ahmedabad on Wednesday reserved the order on Zakia Jafri’s plea that the Special Investigation Team’s report on her complaint regarding Gujarat riots be opened and read out.

Magistrate M.S. Bhatt heard arguments on behalf of Ms. Jafri — the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 riots — and the SIT at length before reserving the order for March 3.

The SIT has submitted to the court the final report on Ms. Jafri’s complaint alleging complicity of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, other top politicians, police officers and bureaucrats in the 2002 riots, in a sealed cover.

Ms. Jafri’s lawyers on Wednesday argued that the SIT had no right to oppose the request to open the report, as the report had become “a public document” after it was submitted to the court. Anyone can access it, and Ms. Jafri, being a complainant, more so; the SIT had no say in this.

Further, the lawyers said, they failed to understand why the prosecution (SIT) was opposing their application as it was the SIT’s duty to bring the real culprits to book.

But SIT lawyer R.S. Jamaur opposed the plea, saying that it had not submitted a complete report. It was for the court to read the report first, and only when the court decided to close the complaint it was required to give a copy to the original complainant as per the Supreme Court’s September 12 2011 order, Mr. Jamaur said.

The SIT lawyer also said that the legal grounds on which Ms. Jafri was seeking access to the report were not applicable, as the SIT had conducted investigation upon a complaint, and not upon an FIR.

The court had already given the SIT time till March 15 to submit all the related material, so it was just a matter of 15 days, he said, adding that the investigators were likely to submit the material within a week.

The Supreme Court appointed the SIT to conduct inquiry on the complaint filed by Ms. Jafri and later directed it to submit the report before the magistrate’s court in Ahmedabad.

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Posted by on Feb 29 2012. Filed under Indian News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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