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Didn’t defend anybody in 2002 post-Godhra riots, left no stone unturned: SIT to high court docket

The Particular Investigation Crew (SIT) arrange by Supreme Courtroom to inquire into circumstances of communal violence throughout 2002 post-Godhra riots on Wednesday instructed the highest court docket that it had not shielded anybody and rued that “uncharitable” remarks had been being made towards it.
“We weren’t shielding anyone,” senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, showing for the SIT, instructed a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar.
Rohatgi was responding to fees by Zakia Jafri, spouse of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri, who was killed throughout the riots, accusing the SIT of bias and overlooking proof.
Rohatgi identified that SC, whereas organising the SIT on March 26, 2008, had mentioned it’s going to document the assertion of any one that wished to offer it, and invited statements by issuing newspaper commercials. But, he mentioned, “uncharitable remarks (are being made) towards SIT”.

His reference was to allegations by Jafri’s counsel, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, that the SIT had not recorded the testimony of a number of essential witnesses.
“SIT examined 275 witnesses, didn’t go away any stone unturned,” Rohatgi mentioned, and referred to the arrest and conviction of former Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani. “She was arrested and convicted and was in jail for a lot of years. If the SIT was partisan, I dare say it might not have arrested a sitting cupboard minister.”
The bench, additionally comprising Justices Dinesh Maheswhwari and C T Ravikumar, is listening to Jafri’s enchantment difficult the October 5, 2017 Gujarat Excessive Courtroom order upholding the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Justice of the Peace Courtroom’s choice to simply accept the SIT’s closure report, which gave a clear chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 63 others in riots-related circumstances.
Rohatgi additionally denied fees that there was any delay in calling the Military. “She (Jafri) says the Military was delayed. It’s an allegation towards the state and Centre. It’s fully baseless. The fax went at 2 pm on February 28, 2002 and the Military was redeployed…. They got here at night time, had been airlifted…”

On Sibal’s argument that SIT had not seized any cellphones throughout its probe, Rohatgi mentioned, “(the rivalry is that) a cell phone utilized in 2002, SIT ought to take it from them in 2010, 2011, 2012. Telephones of that period had been nascent — (they’d) no WhatsApp, no digicam. Who would hold a cellphone for 10 years?”
He additionally responded to claims that the SIT didn’t seize name information information (CDR) or Police Management Room information: “No firm retains CDR for 9 years. Handbook requires destruction of PCR information after 5 years.”
Jafri had contended that our bodies of these killed within the Godhra prepare tragedy had been handed over to a non-public individual, Jaydeep Patel of VHP, and that the SIT didn’t probe this.
Rohatgi mentioned the our bodies recognized had been to be handed over to family, and people not recognized had been to be despatched to Sola hospital in Ahmedabad. He mentioned Jaydeep Patel was solely to accompany them.
On the allegation that the SIT had not probed why two ministers went into the police management room in Ahmedabad throughout the riots, Rohatgi mentioned it was investigated. “Primarily based on this, SIT got here to the conclusion that just one minister visited and he was sitting in a separate room.” He mentioned it’s a matter of follow {that a} minister goes to the management room and added that “presence of minister will solely assist morale of police, that he’s not hiding in his home”.
Rohatgi identified that Jafri’s petition attracts extensively on statements of former ADGP R B Sreekumar and mentioned, “It seems that he turned towards the federal government after he as outmoded.”
“Testimony of Sreekumar is motivated. He clandestinely recorded conversations with the House Secretary, and so forth…. He saved all this a carefully guarded secret until he was outmoded,” he instructed the court docket. “Why did it floor for the primary time in 2005?”
On Sreekumar’s rivalry that curfew was not imposed on the fateful day to facilitate parading of the our bodies of Godhra victims, Rohatgi mentioned Sreekumar was posted as Further DGP (Intelligence) “solely from April 9, 2002 — two months after (the) riots. Earlier than this, he was Further DGP (Armed Unit)…. So he had no information…he had nothing to do with the regulation and order situation.”
“(He was) posted a lot after the riots, (but) he says curfew was not imposed to facilitate parading. How does he know,” Rohatgi puzzled.
The senior counsel additionally mentioned that though then Bhavnagar Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma was named within the unique criticism of Jafri, his identify was lacking from the enchantment. “I submit that it’s a deliberate omission,” he mentioned. “Let me learn the accusation. He’s an IPS officer. Abetted breakdown of governance. Why is it lacking? As a result of at this time Mr Sibal argues he’s a hero.”
Throughout his arguments, Sibal had mentioned that Sharma in his assertion to the Nanavati fee said that cell phones had been utilized in a giant means within the riots and requested, “here’s a police officer saying cell phones had been used. Then why did you not seize the cell phones? The decision information had been by no means investigated.”
Sharma, Sibal mentioned, additionally narrated how political leaders approached him for bail of accused and contended that “this exhibits political interference”.
“Right now he (Rahul Sharma) is their hero. They’re saying he was focused in 2011. Now, they’re saying that he did the best factor,” Rohatgi mentioned. He added that in response to Jafri, Sharma was transferred as a matter of punishment.
Rohatgi mentioned it’s for the federal government to determine the place a police officer’s providers are wanted. “He was transferred from Bhavnagar to Ahmedabad. In any other case (if it was by means of punishment), he ought to have been transferred to some godforsaken place,” Rohatgi submitted.
The arguments remained inconclusive and can proceed Thursday.

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