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Court to decide on SIT report on Feb 15

Ahmedabad/Delhi, Mon, 13 Feb 2012 NI Wire

The Ahmedabad district court on February 15 will decide whether the closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) for probing the prosecutable evidence against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 57 others in infamous Gulbarg Society massacre case and 2002 post-Godhra riots, be made available to the activists.

The SIT on February 09 had submitted its over 1000-page closure report in a sealed cover to Ahmedabad trial court reportedly giving a clean chit to Narendra Modi and 57 others citing that there was not enough 'prosecutable evidence' against Modi.

Social activists Teesta Setalvad and Mukul Sinha from a NGO 'Citizen for Justice and Peace' had separately filled petitions in the district court seeking the copies of the SIT's closure report on Feb 11.

The duo along with Zakia Jafri, the widow of slain Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri, who was killed in Gulbarg Society Massacre during Gujarat riots 2002 have alleged the SIT to not to submit all the documents before the court and asked the photocopies of the submitted closure report from SIT, which the probing agency rejected.

In today's hearing, SIT denied to provide the copies of the closure report to the petitioners arguing that they were not the original complainants and came later while Zakia has not filled the petition at this stage.

"Teesta was not the original complainant, she joined later. The Supreme Court order says give report only to complainant, not complainants. Zakia is not a complainant at this stage, hence she cannot be given copy of the report," SIT counsel SC Jamuvar said.

"We have not brought all the annexures and evidence before the court as we felt there would not be enough space and security to keep the documents," he added.

Teesta's lawyer SM Vora and Citizen for Justice and Peace lawyer IM Munshi countered the SIT argument and demanded the copies of the closure report, arguing that before taking a final decision, parties must have access to the report.

"What needs to be considered at this stage is all the documents and evidence have to be submitted to court, and this has to be given to complainants. If the SIT has not submitted all the documents so far, it clearly is contempt of the Supreme Court order," said Munshi.

He argued before the court that the SIT had deliberately delayed the report and not filing all documents was also a deliberate act.

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