Onus on high court to ensure fair trial of riot cases: CongressMay 1st, 2009 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court’s ruling that some of the 2002 riot cases would not be transferred out of Gujarat had put the onus of a fair trial on the high court, the Congress said Friday while rights activists brought up the issue of witness protection and the BJP called it a “correct decision”.
While ruling that the trial of some of the crucial post-Godhra train carnage riot cases would not be transferred out of Gujarat, the Supreme Court also ordered the setting up of six fast track courts in the state and said special public prosecutors would be appointed by the state government in consultation with a special probe panel.
“I have no comments to make on the decision of Supreme Court, but now it would be the concern of the high court of Gujarat for holding a fair trial. Also, the high court of Gujarat has to ensure that the SIT (special investigation team) has a free hand in investigating the riot cases,” said Congress spokesperson M. Veerappa Moily.
Referring to BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister, Moily told IANS: “This is because of the fact that Narendra Modi has not apologised for the riots. He has no regrets… In the past he has refused to register cases, people are under the impression that he might misuse his office.”
According to BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, the issue of the Gujarat riots, in which 1,180 people were killed following the burning of a train in Godhra, was deliberately brought up before elections.
“We are happy that the Supreme Court had taken a correct decision; do not forget that many convictions have taken place in Gujarat in the cases investigated by the police. People also rake up the issue of Gujarat riots before elections but deliberately ignore the Godhra carnage,” Prasad said.
Rights activist Teesta Setalvad expressed her concern about the protection of witnesses and said: “The Supreme Court has said we are not transferring cases at the moment but we are putting the conditions for safe trial. Unless special provisions are made for witness protection under careful supervision of SIT, justice cannot be done in Gujarat.”
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Tags: activists, bjp leader, carnage, chief minister, correct decision, fast track, high court of gujarat, investigation team, modi, New Delhi, no regrets, onus, public prosecutors, ravi shankar, riot, riots, spokesperson, state government, veerappa, witness protection