New Delhi: It seems as if a part of the Gujarat electoral battle may be fought in the Supreme Court now.
Taking cognizance of the two petitions filed against Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi for breaking the moral code of conduct, the Supreme Court on Friday posted the matter for hearing on Monday.
The petitions have been filed by senior counsel Prashant Bhushan on behalf of film lyricist Javed Akhtar and by senior counsel Dushyant Dave on behalf of fake encounter victim, Sohrabuddin Sheikh's brother, Rubabuddin.
PLEA FOR JUSTICE: The petitioners want a special unit to look into all the extra judicial killings in Gujarat.
Both the counsels submitted that Modi had already justified the killings and he should, therefore, be prosecuted.
The petitions filed in the SC demand two things. First, that a Special Investigation Team to probe all encounters in the state should be constituted and second, that an FIR should be registered against Modi for his "inflammatory" remarks on the Sohrabuddin killing.
Prashant Bhushan said, "We want a special investigating unit to be formed to look into all the extra judicial killings in Gujarat, not just the Sohrabuddin case. Also, an FIR should be lodged against Narendra Modi for inciting people to murder."
The two petitioners sought an inquiry into Modi's justification of Sohrabuddin's fake encounter in November, 2005 and want him named as a co-accused in the killing.
Rubabuddin's plea also says that he would like the case to be transfered out of Gujarat, because he has no hope of a fair trial in the state.
The National Commission for Minorities on Friday, too jumped on to the anti-Modi bandwagon saying that his remarks make a "mockery of the rule of law and constitution".
"Reports of the Gujarat Chief Minister's utterances targeting the Muslim community are tantamount to a mockery of the rule of law and indeed of the Constitution itself," NCM Chairperson Mohammed Shafi Qureshi was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
"The heat and dust of an election campaign should not be an excuse to trample underfoot the values and principles of our public life," he was further quoted as saying.
WHAT MODI SAID
In a campaign speech in Mangrol, South Gujarat, Modi mentioned the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, keeping in mind the polarised electorate in the state.
He said: "Congress is saying that Modi got the encounter done. I'm telling the Congress, you have a Government at the Centre. If u have the guts, come and hang me. Sohrabuddin is the one who attacked the police with AK47s on our soil. Then what does the Gujarat Police do?"
"Congress in Gujarat should explain to the people what should be done to a man who stored illegal arms and ammunition. You tell me, what should have been done to Sohrabuddin?"
He managed to whip up such a communal frenzy with his words that the crowd begin to chant "kill him, kill him" in response to Modi's question on what should have been done to Sohrabuddin.
And when the people shouted "kill him", Modi said: "Well, that is it. Do I have to take Sonia Gandhi's permission to do this? Hang me if I have done anything wrong."