Zakia Jafri’s Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the order of the Gujarat High Court (dated October 5, 2017) dismissing her challenge to Magistrate Ganatra’s Order (dated December 26, 2013) and confirming the Closure Report of the SIT (dated December 8, 2012) came up for hearing before the Supreme Court of India today. The matter has been placed for hearing on Monday, November 19, 2018.
We argue in the present SLP, how, the order of the Gujarat HC records that the Magistrate has considered the Closure Report of the SIT and found no substance in the complaint of the Petitioner dated 8.6.20106. Thereafter the Court erroneously goes on to say that the Magistrate provided detailed grounds for not accepting the Protest Petition of Ms Jafri. This, in our submission, is factually incorrect.
It is our case that the Magistrate wrongly held that it was beyond the scope of his powers to direct further investigation. Besides, key and vital issues placed before the Magistrate, detailing our case and making out a sound and substantiated case of criminal conspiracy and abetment, we argue, have been not duly considered by the Magistrate or the High Court.
The SIT filed a Closure Report in 2012, without giving an audience to Ms Jafri as is her legal right. Thereafter she had to petition the SC again in a fresh SLP (Nos 8989/2012) to acquire the full and complete Investigation records, reports and documents. These we obtained by order of the Supreme Court on 7.2.2013 after which we were given two months to file the protest petition.
It is only after that order of the SC in February 2013, that the CJP legal team analysed close to 23,000 pages of documents that became the basis of the detailed construct and narrative of the Protest Petition. It is through this Protest Petition that the Petitioner has drawn out the lacunae in SIT’ s Investigation and constructed a more comprehensive and prima facie case for large conspiracy, abetment, dereliction of duty by First responders and Hate Speech, which in the Petitioner’s opinion, is squarely made from the documents on record.
In the present case before the SC we argue that it will be abundantly clear from a close perusal of the Protest Petition that the Ms Jafri has substantiated further acts of a larger Conspiracy by detailing evidence about the Prelude and Build Up of a volatile atmosphere prior to 27.2.2002, the post mortems being conducted in the wide open in violation of statutory provisions, no Preventive Arrests and Delayed Implementation of Curfew in Ahmedabad Despite Widespread Violence from 27.2.2002 Onwards among other issues.
Besides, we argue that, an analysis of Police Control Room (PCR Records) Shows Dereliction of Duty by First Responders. The conspiracy, as constructed in the Protest Petition also provides proof of the also Reporting and Misleading Constitutional and Statutory Authorities and the Destruction of Records Relating to Minutes of Meetings, Police Logbooks, Wireless Messages by those at the helm of power in 2002.
The Gujarat High Court notes in its Order dated 5.10.2017 that,
Undoubtedly, the Complaint given in writing to the DGP of the State of Gujarat by Ms Zakia Jafri on 08.6.2006 was for the period between February 27, 2002 to May 2002 where it is alleged that the larger conspiracy of officers and bureaucrats (63 in numbers) for committing the offence under section 302 read with 120(b) of te IPC has resulted into the loss of thousands of lives. Such acts, according to the said complaint, allegedly indicate larger conspiracy for the entire State which has not been restricted to particular case or incident of riot.”
However, despite recognizing that the Complaint dated 8.6.2006 and the Protest Petition dated 15.4.2013 dealt with events between February 27 and May 2002, we argue that she however leaves us remedy-less on the vital aspect of no adequate Investigation into the larger conspiracy and disregarding of the same by the Magistrate.
It is on these issues as also on the conscious and erroneous clubbing of the Zakia Jafri complaint with the single incident at Gulberg society (that took place on 28.2.2002 and according to us is just one of 300 incidents and one link In the wider conspiracy) that the lower courts have erred and we seek correction and remedy.
Related Legal Resources:
Zakia Jafri Protest PetitionZakia Jafri Protest Petition Part 1
Zakia Jafri Protest Petition Part 2
SIT Preliminary ReportSIT Preliminary Report May 12 2010 (in SLP 1088/2008, Zakia Jafri & CJP versus State of Gujarat)
Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran’s Interim and Final ReportsAmicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran’s Interim Report
Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran’s Final Report
SIT Closure Report dated 8.2.2012
Volume 1SIT Closure Report Volume 1 Page 1 to 100
SIT Closure Report Volume 1 Page 101 to 200
SIT Closure Report Volume 1 Page 201-270
Volume 2SIT Volume 2 Page 271-370
SIT Volume 2 Page 371-458
SIT Volume 2 Page 459-541
The following India Today piece was on the basis of EXCLUSIVE INVESTIGATION by our team (CJP) for the Zakia Jafri Protest Petition. The probe uncovered the messages from the police control room and the state intelligence bureau reports showing that the cops had received various inputs about crowds being mobilised and warnings of the possibility of major riots breaking out.
Probe reveals Gujarat Riots were not spontaneous and sudden
Adv Mihir Desai explains Genesis of the Zakia Jafri Case
Advocate Mihir Desai explains how the SC dealt with the Zakia Jafri Case
Adv Mihir Desai talks about the Evidence Unearthed in the Zakia Jafri Case
Adv Mihir Desai explains the Legal Technicalities in the Zakia Jafri Case
Related Reports (NHRC, CEC, Editors’ Guild 2002)
NHRC Reports (March – July 2002)NHRC Report July 2002
NHRC INterim Report April 1- 2002
CEC Report (August 2002)CEC Report on Gujarat Violence
Election Commission August 16 2002 Order Postpones Elections
Editor’s Guild Report 2002Excerpts from Editors Guild Report 2002
Judgement Primer on ZAHIRA HABIBULLAH SHAIKH V/S STATE OF GUJARAT 2004
The 2004 Best Bakery Judgement and its Significance