Friday, April 20, 2012

SIT findings on Gujarat riots not binding on court: Raju Ramachandran

SIT findings on Gujarat riots not binding on court: Raju Ramachandran

By Rakesh Bhatnagar | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Raju Ramachandran, the Supreme Court appointed lawyer to probe the gruesome Gulberg housing society carnage in Gujarat a decade ago, says a person aggrieved by the SIT closure report giving a clean chit to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi can question its findings.
In an interview to the DNA, Ramachandran said, “I expect the court lawyer's report will also be given to the complainant (Zakia Jafri) along with the SIT findings and she can file a protest petition questioning the Raghavan led panel''. Zakia Jafri had moved the top court alleging that the Gujarat government and particularly chief minister Modi were responsible for the dastardly killing of her husband Ehsan Jafri, a Congress MP.

He was burnt alive as Ms Jafri's repeated calls for help to the police and others in the government were of no avail. In his report, Ramachandran has said a senior IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt's statement was made probable by the presence of two ministers in the Ahmedabad Police Control Room at the time Muslims were being attacked.

Bhatt in his affidavit before the top court had claimed that he was present at a top level meeting presided over by Modi in which the police was advised to let Hindu's now ventilate their ire against the Muslims. If the trial court accepts what Ramachandran has reported it can partially or fully scrap SIT findings and issue notices to Modi and others whose names figure in the two reports.

“The court isn't bound by the SIT findings, it has to apply its mind and examine all the documents and evidence before passing a final order on the issue'', Ramachandran added. However, lawyer Ramachandran said, “I don't want to comment on the SIT report or my report. The material will be assessed by the courts''.