The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging a clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 2002 Gujarat riots. A three-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar upheld “the decision of the magistrate in accepting the SIT report and the decision to reject protest petition”.
“This appeal is devoid of merits and dismissed accordingly,” the court ruled, according to Bar and Bench. The top court had earlier reserved its verdict on December 8, 2021.
The plea was filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre during the Gujarat riots.
The apex court’s ruling came in a plea filed by Zakia Jafri challenging the 2017 verdict of the Gujarat High Court decision upholding the Magistrate’s decision to accept the SIT closure report and dismissing the petition filed by Jafri challenging the report.
In 2006, Zakia Jafri had filed a complaint before the then Gujarat DGP seeking an FIR against several bureaucrats and politicians, including then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.
In 2008, the SC appointed an SIT to submit a report on a number of trials in connection with the riots and also tasked it with investigating the complaint filed by Jafri.
In 2013, Jafri filed a petition opposing the closure report which gave a clean chit to various bureaucrats and politicians, including Modi. The Magistrate then upheld the SIT’s closure report and dismissed the petition filed by Jafri, who then moved the Gujarat High Court. However, the HC upheld the Magistrate’s decision in 2017 and dismissed Jafri’s petition.
Jafri, along with activist Teesta Setalvad, then approached the SC challenging the Magistrate’s decision to accept the SIT’s clean chit.