Ahmedabad: The Special Investigation Team, which probed Zakia Jafri's accusation of complicity in facilitating the 2002 Gujarat riots against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others, relied upon "the accused" but not the witnesses in its probe, her lawyer said on Monday.
"SIT in its closure report has relied upon statements of high-ranking government officials against whom we have complained but not bothered to investigate or verify what the witnesses, such as the then head of state Intelligence Bureau R B Sreekumar, has said under oath about complicity of state administration," said Jafri's lawyer Mihir Desai.
Desai was arguing before Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra, who is hearing Jafri's petition which challenges SIT's closure report giving a clean chit to Modi and others. Jafri, whose husband and ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots, has demanded that SIT report be rejected, and the persons against whom she had filed complaint (Modi and others) should be charge-sheeted.
"SIT can argue against IPS officers like Sanjeev Bhatt that he woke up after so many years but how can SIT ignore what Sreekumar had said in detail while he was still a serving high official of the state," advocate Desai said. The lawyer was referring to the affidavits filed by Sreekumar, then Additional DGP (intelligence) before Justice G T Nanavati commission.
Sreekumar has claimed that he maintained a register in which he noted every "illegal" instruction given to him either by the Chief Minister or high-ranking officials such as state secretaries G Subbarao, G C Murmu, Ashok Narayan and State Intelligence Bureau's Joint Director Rajendra Kumar.
Advocate Desai said if the SIT, as an investigation agency, wanted to find out if the high-ranking officers were guilty, it should have verified Sreekumar's contentions. "SIT has asked those officials, as per its own report, if there exists such a register, but it has never asked if entries and allegations made in it were true or not," he said.
However, SIT lawyer R S Jamuar protested, saying, "SIT is not an investigating agency and Supreme Court has only asked it to look into the complaint made in regards to the incidents of February 27 and 28 of 2002, not beyond it." "If SIT believes that apex court has mandated not to probe anything beyond February 28 and whatever said by Sreekumar was irrelevant, then why SIT spent more than 20 pages in its report and why it has gone into the allegations made by him," Desai retorted. Magistrate Ganatra intervened at this stage and adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.