Metropolitan Court upholds what Modi has been saying:
He and his Government were well meaning and effective in Godhra riots
The Spokesperson Minister and Finance Minister of Gujarat Government, Shri Nitin Patel; and Energy Minister, Shri Saurabh Patel; have welcomed the verdict of Metropolitan Court of Ahmedabad on 2002 riots. They said that Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi had been given a complete clean chit by the judiciary; with the court accepting the closure report of the Supreme Court appointed and monitored SIT’s unprecedentedly comprehensive investigation. This is a historic verdict on Truth and Justice.
Post the burning of Sabarmati express train at Godhra Railway station on 27th February, 2002 which resulted into death of 59 karsevaks including innocent children, men and women, riots broke out in the State of Gujarat. In the following few days, the members of the two community clashed at several places leading to killing of a number of persons and destruction of property. The Government machinery took immediate steps to control and prevent riots. The number of tear-gas shells exploded, the number of rounds fired by the police to control rioting and the number of deaths due to police firing is unprecedented. The number of places at which police saved large numbers of lives is also quite impressive. All measures were taken including calling of Army and arrest of number of people. With these actions, the police and the law enforcement agencies controlled the riots in about three days’. Relief and rehabilitation measures were also taken up in full swing. Relief measures were monitored by Honourable Governor of Gujarat, Leader of Opposition and the Cabinet Secretary of Government of India.
An Inquiry commission was immediately appointed to inquire into the circumstances in which the riots took place, and the role of the Government machinery; and to suggest corrective actions. Justice Nanavati, a retired Supreme Court Judge was appointed as its chairman on the advice of the Supreme Court itself.
Number of FIRs were registered and were taken up for investigation. Meanwhile NHRC and some NGO approached Honourable Supreme Court. The Supreme court constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) with Ex Director CBI as its Chairman. The SIT members were handpicked and appointed by the SC itself.
Four years later on 8-6- 2006, Mrs Zakia Jaffri lodged an omnibus complaint making general allegations against 63 persons, but mainly targeting the Chief Minister.
The State Police, at the highest level (DGP & ADGP), wanted to record the statement of the complainant. But in spite of repeated efforts, the complainant did not cooperate. Instead she moved the High Court of Gujarat. High court rejected the petition holding that the complainant already had the option of approaching the Magistrate under section 190 of CrPC. The complainant moved the Supreme Court of India.
The Supreme Court directed the SIT to ‘look into’ this complaint as well. The SIT took up the complaint, recorded hundreds of statements and collected large number of materials. The SIT took evidence from various quarters, recorded statement of the accused and others concerned and cross examined witnesses. This also included the unprecedented grilling of the Chief Minister for around nine hours, which he willingly submitted to. From the day of entrusting the investigation to SIT to the final findings in 2011, thorough scrutiny of all dimensions of the riots as a whole was conducted. During this entire process, the SIT was closely monitored by the Supreme Court.
At the end of the proceedings, the SIT submitted its report in April 2011 to the SC. It was a closure report giving a complete clean chit to Modi and his Government, categorically finding all allegations to be false; with which the SC agreed. However, the SC also directed the SIT to submit the report to the concerned Court. The Metropolitan Magistrate heard both the parties, and once again examined each and every issue raised by the complainant.
Today, the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Ahmedabad has delivered its order.
This is the most investigated and closely monitored process for any riot situation in India. The State Government is satisfied that its sincere actions and the consistent stand of having done its best have been vindicated by an elaborate and thorough judicial process, under close scrutiny of the Hon. Supreme Court of India.
Highlights of the Judicial Process
- This order is the conclusive judgment in the Godhra riot cases involving the Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- Since now Mr. Modi is the PM candidate of BJP, this order assumes special significance.
- The background of the entire investigation dates back to June 2006 when Mrs. Jakia Jafri filed a complaint alleging conspiracy by the Chief Minister.
- The DGP of Gujarat entrusted the enquiry to a high ranking officer of ADP rank.
- Mrs. Jakia Jafri did not cooperate with the enquiry. Instead, supported by Teesta Setalvad, she approached the High Court of Gujarat demanding registration of FIR and investigation by an independent agency.
- The Gujarat HC rejected the petition holding that the petitioner can approach appropriate Magistrate under section 190 of CrPC.
- Thereafter, Mrs. Jafri approached the Supreme Court of India. The SC without going into the details of the complaint directed the SIT to look into the complaint and take steps as required in law.
- It is to be mentioned that the SIT was already in place in which top ranking police officers handpicked by the SC were members.
- The SIT headed by Dr. Raghvan, Ex-CBI Director, directed Sri Malhotra ex-DIG CBI to carry out entire investigation in this regard.
- The SIT conducted investigation on each and every allegation contained in the complaint involving the CM of Gujarat and 62 others.
- For the first time in the history of riots in India, the SC has closely monitored investigation on a generalised complaint directed mainly against a Chief Minister.
- The SIT recorded hundreds of statements, collected large number of documents and submitted periodic report to the SC.
- For first time ever in India, the Chief Minister was personally grilled by SIT for 9 hours.
- The concerned bench of the SC comprising Justice Aftab Alam, Justice Jain who have retired and also the present Chief Justice of India, considered each and every report submitted by the SIT.
- Having satisfied with the investigation of SIT, the SC issued its final order on 12-9-2011.
- From the day of entrusting the investigation to SIT to the final findings in 2011, thorough scrutiny of all evidence concerning all incidents of riots were conducted.
- The SIT covered everything in the course of inquiry on the complaint.
- As per the direction of the Supreme Court, the SIT filed its report before the Metropolitan Magistrate.
- The complainant submitted her protest petition and almost year long proceeding took place.
- The Metropolitan Magistrate heard both the parties and examined each and every issue raised by the complainant.
- The final order on the much awaited case is likely which will be historic.