Supreme Court orders retrial of Gujarat riots by fast track courts

May 1st, 2009 - 1:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Narendra Modi New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a retrial of the Gujarat riots cases by fast track courts.

The apex court also directed that the trial would not be shifted out of Gujarat.

Besides, it also ordered he filing of additional chargesheets against new accused named by the Special Investigating Team (SIT).

On April 27, the apex court asked the SIT to probe the role of 64 people, including that of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the cases.

The apex court order was passed in response to a petition filed by Congress parliamentarian Ehsaan Jaffery.

The court asked the SIT to submit the report within three months.

The order came over two months after Gujarat High Court Judge A. S. Dave declined to hear a SIT petition that challenged the anticipatory bail granted to State Minister Maya Kodnani and the former VHP leader Jaydeep Patel in connection with the Godhra case.

The SIT had moved the Gujarat High Court and challenged the anticipatory bail granted by a lower court to Kodnani and Patel, in the post-Godhra and Naroda Gram riot cases.

The apex court had constituted a five-member SIT to re-investigate the post-Godhra communal riots.

The SIT is reinvestigating into nine post- Godhra riot cases and was expected to submit its report to the apex court by February 15.

Several prominent leaders like, Maya Kodnani of BJP and Jaydeep Patel of Vishwa Hindu Parishad are at the center of investigation, following many witnesses naming them in their statements in the Naroda Gam riot case.

The SIT had filed a 300-page supplementary chargesheet against 24 people in the Naroda Gam case in which 11 people, belonging to the minority community, were killed by a mob during the riots.

The accused include, Fula Vyas of VHP, local BJP leader Jitendra Patel and ex-BJP municipal councilor Ashok Patel.

The SIT has also filed a second charge sheet in Naroda Patiya case against 15 accused, where over 80 people were killed during the Godhra riots.

The third chargesheet in the Gulburg society case, named some VHP and BJP leaders in the list of absconders among the 14 accused, where 38 people were killed.

The five-member SIT team is headed by R. Raghavan, and includes former Deputy General of Police C.D. Satpathy and three Indian Police officers — Geetha Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia.

Each chapter in the report is being carefully drafted and separate reports are being prepared for each of the nine cases. (ANI)

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