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Friday 14 October 2011

Court rejects plea against tracking Gujarat riot cases

Court rejects plea against tracking Gujarat riot cases
Mahesh Trivedi

12 October 2011
AHMEDABAD — The Supreme Court which had last month said that it would not monitor Zakia Jafri’s case while sending it back to a court in Gujarat said on Tuesday that it would continue to keep an eye on the 2002 communal riot cases.
Rejecting a petition of the Gujarat government urging the apex court not to oversee the cases as the charge-sheets have been filed and trials had begun, the court, however, said that the trials were being monitored by the Special Investigation Team for the last two years and there was no change in circumstances to go back on that decision, adding that it had been tracking the cases for a long time and would also pass necessary direction later if needed.
While hearing a petition on September 13 filed by former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia alleging that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 top government officials deliberately refused to take action to contain riots, triggered by the February 27, 2002 Godhra train carnage, the court had refused to pass any order on the alleged inaction and referred the matter back to the trial court in Ahmedabad for a decision. The court had then observed that it would no longer monitor the investigations into the riots cases. Sources told Khaleej Times that the Gujarat government had filed the plea in the SC after the federal government recently asked the apex court to stop monitoring in the 2G scam case as the charge-sheet had already been filed by the CBI in the trial court.
Meanwhile, Justice Sonia Gokani of the Gujarat High Court has ruled that retired Justice R A Mehta’s appointment by the Gujarat Governor as the state Lokayukta (anti-graft ombudsman) was invalid and directed the state government to appoint a new Lokayukta within four months.
She was delivering her judgement on the Gujarat government’s petition challenging the appointment of the lokayukta which was dismissed by another judge, Justice Akil Kureshi on Monday but Justice Gokani could not complete her verdict.

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