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Supreme Court of India tells court to complete Gulbarg Society massacre (Gujarat) case trial in 3 months

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday set a three-month deadline for the trial court in Gujarat to complete the trial in the Gulbarg Society massacre case. Get here full version of Gulbarg Society massacre in Wikipedia.

Supreme Court of India tells court to complete Gulbarg Society massacre (Gujarat) case trial in 3 months

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had praised the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by it to probe the Gujarat riot cases, for progress in the investigations.

The court had in April noted that “out of nine cases monitored by the court, investigation in six cases is over, resulting in conviction. And the rest of the three cases are in the final stages.”

The court had appointed the SIT in 2008.

Out of the three cases in which verdict is still awaited, one is the Gulbarg Society massacre case.

68 people, including former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri, were killed in the attack on Gulbarg Society in Ahmedadad by a mob on February 28, 2002.

Jafri’s wife Zakiya had accused then Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in the riots.

The SIT, however, had given Modi clean chit in its February 2012 closure report saying there was no prosecutable evidence against the then CM.

A metropolitan court in Ahmedabad had later accepted the clean chit given to Modi and rejected Zakia Jafri’s petition challenging the SIT’s closure report.

Jafri had then challenged the clean chit to Modi in the Gujarat High Court, where the case is still pending.

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  1. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, Gujarat police officer Sanjiv Bhatt has indicated that N Ram, editor-in-chief of the daily The Hindu, had offered to brief an unidentified person on matters related to the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre, on a request from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

    Sixty-nine people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri were killed in Gulberg Society during the Gujarat riots.

    A supplementary affidavit filed on July 26 by Bhatt, a 1988 batch IPS officer, is based on a series of email exchanges between Tushar Mehta, Gujarat’s additional advocate general, Gurumurthy, former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah and officials in the chief minister’s office.

    The affidavit says the exchanges illustrate how the criminal justice in the state has been vitiated as a law officer of the state is seen helping defend the accused in riots cases.

    Earlier this year, Bhatt had filed an affidavit in the SC alleging that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had asked the police to go slow during the riots. Bhatt had also alleged that a special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the SC under former CBI chief RK Raghavan to re-investigate several riot cases had ignored evidence of state complicity.

    The SC appointed an amicus curiae – ‘friend of the court’— to review whether the SIT had acted with any bias.

    In an email, attached as an annexure in Bhatt’s supplementary affidavit, Gurumurthy writes to Ram (at the mail ids nram@thehindu.co.in and nram.thehindu@gmail.com) on February 17, 2010: “Dear Ram, This refers to our telephonic talk after Cho (Cho Ramaswamy, editor of Tamil magazine Thuglak) spoke to you and me. Here is the note I would like you to go through so that you understand before you talk to the person.”

    In the two-page note attached to the mail, Gurumurthy praised Raghavan’s confidential reports that had already been submitted to the SC and trashed Zakia Jaffri, widow of Ehsan Jaffri for trying to get a case registered against Modi and 62 others including top government officials. The SC had referred Jaffri’s case to the SIT for investigations.

    Ram told HT he did not recall any such exchange with Gurumurthy. After explaining the email and the attached note on the functioning of the SIT, HT asked Ram whether he could recall who was the unnamed person being referred to in the mail. Ram said: “I don’t remember anything you are saying. I never talked to Cho or anybody regarding the Gujarat riots.”

    Asked whether he recalled any conversation with Raghavan on matters relating to his investigations, Ram said: “No, never. He is a close family friend and writes for our publications, but we never discussed anything about the Gujarat riots.”

    Gurumurthy initially agreed to respond to the allegations. Later he changed his mind and shot back: “Who are you to question me. I don’t want to respond to anything. You are nobody to question me.”