Gujarat riots case: will Amicus Curiae's report have any impact on Modi?
New Delhi/Ahmedabad, May 8 (ANI): Detractors of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who were disappointed with the Special Investigation Team's (SIT's) findings in the 2002 Gujarat riots, are fired up after Amicus Curiae Raju Ramchandran's report found Modi culpable.
According to the Supreme Court appointed Amicus Curiae's report, which was released on Monday, there was a need for examining Modi's role in the wake of the Godhra train burning.
The SIT, which was also constituted by the Supreme Court, told the metropolitan court that no offence was established against Modi and 57 others in the 2002 Gulberg Society carnage and sought closure in the probe.
Now, the onus to act against Modi lies with the court, as the Amicus Curiae's (meaning friend of the court in Latin) report in itself does not have any legal binding. It is the discretion of the court whether to admit an amicus brief (typically a shorter version of the report) or whether to act on an amicus report.
So, the Amicus Curiae's report that Modi can be prosecuted for his role in the Gujarat riots under Sections 153A and 153B does not change the status quo in this case.
Though the report is not binding or an advisory, but it is a jolt on Modi, who had been given clean chit in the SIT report.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley defended Modi, launching an elaborate defence of the Gujarat Chief Minister.
"The BJP expresses a sense of satisfaction that that the SIT has very clearly said that Narendra Modi had absolutely no role in the riots and even the allegations raised by one police officer (Sanjeev) Bhatt against him... has been found to be incorrect. Eight senior police officers who were present in the meeting have categorically told the SIT that Bhatt was not present in the meeting," the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said.
"SIT's report is final. It is categorical. It is only subject to what the court was eventually saying. As far as Amicus Curiae views were concerned, the SIT was directed to take them into consideration and express its final opinion on that. They have said so.
"It is the SIT's report which is final. In Indian law either under Indian Evidence Act or the Court of Criminal Procedure and advocate's opinion or Amicus Curiae opinion is not a piece of evidence. He is not examined under Section 161. He is not going to stand cross-examination," Jaitley said.
"The chargesheet or the trial is going to be on what the SIT says. It is SIT and not the amicus, which is final. It's for the court to take the final view and therefore this entire emphasis that the amicus did not express the final opinion on the meeting but left it to either further investigation or the court, it no longer carries much weight because the SIT has now expressed the final opinion on the matter," he said.
However, every single finding of the SIT has been questioned in the Amicus Curiae report, making it difficult for the court to not take cognisance of these differences. (ANI)
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