God is great, says Modi
2: 43 pm Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict, which directed the lower court to determine whether Modi should be probed in the Gulbarg Society case, Narendra Modi tweeted “God is great.”
No evidence against Narendra Modi:Jaitley
2: 30 pm Meanwhile senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley claimed that there is no evidence against Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots case. He alleged that those accusing Modi of being involved in the case, are only doing so to score brownie points. “There were allegations that Gujarat police’s investigations were not proper. The Supreme court constituted SIT to probe investigations. Propaganda can never be a substitute for evidence. This has been proved today,” said Jaitley.
12:00 pm Gulbarg Society case is not about Modi, but about justice
Talking about the SC verdict, Rahul Dholakia, the director of Parzania, said it is not about Narendra Modi, it is about justice. He added that in spite of fighting a battle for the past nine years, the people have not got any closure and the case has gone back to square one. Expressing his disappointment over the Supreme Court verdict of sending the matter back to the trial court, Dholakia said that the Gulbarg Society case is not just about legalities but also emotions.
Congress continues blame game:
11:47 am: Congress MP Rasheed Alva continued to target the BJP and said that the Supreme Court has not given any clean chit to Narendra Modi. “We must wait for a decision from the trial court. However, this verdict will delay the legal process.” He added that the legal system requires reforms, and said he symapthises with Zakia Jafri and the other victims of the Gujarat riot.
Ex-SIT chief refused to comment till he sees the order:
11:44 am: RK Raghavan, ex-SIT chief, said that he is not in a position to the comment on the Supreme Court verdict. He added that every investigation is subject to scrutiny and that his team had done a good job while probing the Gulbarg Society case.”If the matter has been referred to the trial court IT will continue to lend assistance and support” to the lower court in determining the faith of the case.
Meanwhile, RB Sreekumar, former ADG Intelligence, Gujarat said the SIT report has been accepted as relevant by the SC and has been referred to the trial court.
Tanveer Jafri satisfied with the verdict
11: 30 am: Tanveer Jafri, Ehsan Jafri’s son, too expressed his disappointment with the Supreme Court verdict. “I am satisfied that the SC has directed the trial court to proceed in this case.” He said that for the first time the court has played the role it is required to. Hence, those who have fighting this battle feel the verdict will help them fight the case further, wheras politicap parties feel it is a breather for Narendra Modi.
Zakia Jafri expressed her unhappiness at the verdict on her petition and blamed Modi for the riots:
11: 12 am: In response to the Supreme Court verdict, which directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to file its final report before the lower court in Ahmedabad, Zakia Jafri: “I am extremely disappointed with the verdict. I thought I would finally get justice.” She alleged that the investigation done by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) wasn’t proper. “It’s possible that the SIT investigations were not done properly. So many evidences were given, did they find none appropriate?”
Zafia said that Narendra Modi is responsible for the riots. She added that she will not give up hope and will continue her struggle for justice till her last breadth. When asked about her struggle, she said her sole motive behind the fight is to get justice for her her husband, late Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed by a rioting mob in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002. Zakia has been fighting this battle for the past ten years and is determined to take it to a meaningful end.
For BJP, the SC verdict is a huge relief:
10:45 am: BJP leader Baibir Punj said that the people behind relentless campaign against Narendra Modi and BJP should apologise for misleading the country and that the BJP welcomes the move by Supreme Court. “Once Modi’s name is cleared by the highest level of the judiciary, he will assume a much larger role at the national level, ” said Punj.
Meanwhile, BJP senior leader Arun Jaitley will address a press conference on the Gulbarg Society case soon.
First reactions from petitioners:
10:40 am: Social activist Teesta Setalvad, who has been helping Gujarat riots victims fight the case, said that Supreme Court order is not clean chit to Modi.
Petitioners extremely disappointed with the Supreme Court verdict as the apex court has not expressed any opinion on the matter, but merely passed the buck to a lower court.
Activist Teesta Setalwad, who also filed a petition in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots said “We will now re-double our efforts in the trial court.” She said the the Supreme Court has accepted the investigations so far and sent the case to the trial court, but the biggest problem lies in the fact that the investigations continue to be monitored by the SIT. She added the verdict is not in any way a breather for Narendra Modi and the decision actually means that the case has gone beyond the FIR stage.
Human right advocate Mukal Sinha said the Supreme Court verdict is going to delay the cognizance even further.
Watch video: We will re-double our efforts: Teesta
The Supreme Court passes the buck to the lower court:
10: 35 am In a relief for Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court has directed the magistrate court to examine the SIT report on the Gujarat riots and has asked the lower courts to determine whether Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will be probed in the Gulbarg Society case.
The case will continue but the Supreme Court will not pass any observation or argument based on the findings of the SIT report. After going through the findings, the Supreme Court has directed the SIT to submit the final report to the trial court.Observing that the court will not monitoring the 2002 Gujarat riots cases, the three judge-bench of justices DK Jain, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam refused to pass an order on the alleged inaction of Narendra Modi during the riots.
The trial court will rule whether Modi should be investigated further for his alleged role in what has come to be known as the Gulbarg Society case. It relates to an attack on Gulbarg Society, a Muslim neighbourhood in Ahmedabad, on 28 February 2002, in the riots that followed the Godhra train fire.
Sixty nine people, including Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a rioting mob in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002.
A petition was filed by Zakia Jaffri, widow of parliamentarian Ehsan Jaffri who was killed in the incident.
Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and at least 35 others were burnt alive when the houses were set on fire; more than 30 others were missing and presumed dead. Jafri’s wife Zakia Nazim Jafri has sought a direction from the Supreme Court that Modi’s alleged role – as the head of a State government that had been derelict in its duty to protect the people and then destroyed records of police conversations on that day – should be investigated.
She also alleged some of Modi’s cabinet colleagues and high ranking state officials were at fault for not preventing the incident.
The Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by the former CBI director RK Raghavan, had submitted a report to the court in May 2010 after examining Modi and others. Even though the report posed several embarrassing questions to Modi, it didnot have enough evidence to prosecute him.
The report alleged that as chief minister of Gujarat Modi tried to water down the seriousness of the situation at Gulburg society and Naroda Patiya by saying every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The report also criticised Modi for appointing pro-VHP advocates as public prosecutors in the riot cases. It said Modi had not visited riot-affected areas though he was at Godhra on Feburary 27, 2002. It also said the government destroyed wireless records of police conversations on that fateful day.
The Supreme Court found that conclusions drawn by Raghavan were inconsistent with findings of the SIT probe and sought the comments of amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran to suggest a course of action.
Watch video: Why Narendra Modi might be worried?