Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Which side are you on? Court asks SIT

Riots Probe Team’s Defensive Approach Draws Court Ire

The Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) probing 2002 riot cases once again invited criticism from a special court for its defensive approach with regards to its final report, which gave a clean chit to chief minister Narendra Modi and others. 
While the SIT submitted a copy of its final report in sealed covers to the designated court hearing the Gulbarg Society massacre case on Wednesday, it also requested the court not to open it. This was because the probe agency intended to move the Gujarat high court questioning the special court’s order to produce the report. 
During the hearing, witnesses’ counsel S M Vora took objection to submission of report in sealed cover saying that it has already been handed over to the complainant. Special prosecutor R C Kodekar rebutted the point, but designated judge B J Dhandha criticized the SIT’s approach and said, “You are not fighting a case against the victims.” 
This led to heated arguments between the parties with the witnesses’ counsel proposing that they also have got a copy of the report. 
On the other hand, the SIT submitted that it had been opposing submission of report in this court before the magisterial court takes a final call on its closure report. Since the trial court has not taken its argument into consideration, it would move the HC and for that purpose the court should postpone opening of the report. 
The court has granted a month’s time to the SIT observing that till then the report would lie in safe custody of the court’s nazir. The witnesses have been desperately demanding the SIT report in trial court because the fate of their plea to arraign top cops like P C Pande, M K Tandon and P B Gondia depends much on outcome of further probe. Their pleas in this regard in the past were kept in the abeyance by the court on SIT’s statement that the further probe was underway. 
However, when the probe was over, special prosecutor gave an undertaking to the court that it would submit the report after giving it to the magisterial court as per the SC directions. 

HC transfers HIV case probe to CBI 

The Gujarat high court on Wednesday ordered a CBI inquiry in a case where 23 children suffering from thalassaemia contracted HIV, allegedly during the routine blood transfusion procedures at the Junagadh civil hospital. Expressing dissatisfaction over the probe by the state police, the judges said, “The way state agency has conducted investigation, we are compelled to exercise our power to direct the investigation to CBI for the credibility of the probe.”