Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday criticized Congress and left-wing parties after the Supreme Court upheld the clean slate given by the court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others, while he ruled out a larger conspiracy behind the 2002 Gujarat riots.
“Today we would like to ask Congress, the Left and others that your entire store, which has spent the past 20 years engaged in the protests against Narendra Modi Ji, how many days do you want to run now?” Mr Prasad told the media here to the press.
He also said that the Special Investigative Team (SIT) had questioned the then Gujarat Chief Minister Modi for nine hours.
“SIT then had Gujarat questioned CM Modi for nine hours and reported that when CM Modi had no role (in 2002 Gujarat riots)… Now the Supreme Court has said proceedings to keep the pot boiling have been conducted for the past 16 years for associated design,” the BJP MP added.
The Supreme Court noted on Friday that disgruntled Gujarat government officials who made sensational revelations related to the 2002 riots should be put in the dock only “to keep the pot boiling” and act in accordance with the law.
A bank headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar noted that the testimonies of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, the late Haren Pandya (former Gujarat interior minister) and RB Sreekumar (the then additional director general of police – intelligence) were alone to “sensationalize and politicize” the issue, though full of untruth.
Mr Pandya, the then Home Secretary of Gujarat, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, while on a morning walk near the Ahmedabad Law Garden.
The Supreme Court relied on the Special Investigation Team (SIT) final report that concluded that Bhatt made a false plea to Pandya to attend the February 27, 2002 meeting, where the then Chief Minister is said to have delivered the verdict.
“We hasten to add that this is only because of the ultra-sensational revelation projected by Sanjiv Bhatt and Haren Pandya, who unabashedly claimed to be aware of the statements made by the then Chief Minister at an official meeting, the constitutional officials and this Court was needed to act and take it seriously,” the Bench said.
“However, after thorough investigation by the SIT, the falsity of such a claim has been fully exposed on the basis of credible indisputable materials collected by the SIT during the investigation into that regard,” said the bench which also consisted of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari. and Justice C. T. Ravikumar. †
“Ultimately, it seems to us that a concerted effort by the disgruntled officials of the Gujarat state with others was to create a sensation by making disclosures that were false for their own knowledge,” the Supreme Court added.
“The falsity of their claims was fully exposed by the SIT after a thorough investigation. It is intriguing that the current proceeding has continued for the past 16 years, including with the audacity to question the integrity of any officer involved was adopted in the process of exposing the cunning stratagem, obviously to keep the pot boiling, for ulterior motives,” the supreme court said.
“In fact, all those involved in such abuse of process must be in the dock and operate in accordance with the law,” it noted.
The Bench’s observation came while maintaining a clean sheet the SIT had given to then Prime Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi and 63 others during the 2002 riots. The highest court also rejected the plea of Zakia Jafri, widow of former MP Ehsan Jafri, who had alleged a larger conspiracy in the case.
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