Clean chit to Modi: Magistrate relied on SIT lawyer arguments


The Metropolitan Magistrate's order clearing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of charges of larger conspiracy in the 2002 Gujarat riots has relied and quoted heavily from the arguments by lawyer R S Jamuar, who represented the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

One of the argument was that the job of curbing the suspicious activities of kar sevaks belonging to organisations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and BJP in Ayodhya was that of the then UP government.

On allegations that the state government did not call the Army in time to control the riots, the court again cites Jamuar as saying that the then defence minister George Fernandes was "not from the same party as the Gujarat government".

The court relied on these two arguments while deciding in favour of the SIT that had given Modi a clean chit.

In its over 440-page verdict, the magisterial court presided over by B J Ganatra has quoted SIT's Special Public Prosecutor extensively on every allegation levelled against Modi.

One of the many allegations levelled against Modi was that despite warning by the Intelligence Bureau about its adverse impact, the state government led by him did not stop the kar sevaks from going to Ayodhya.

Defending SIT's view in favour of Modi, Jamuar argued that any steps prohibiting the kar sevaks from going to Ayodhya were illegal and unconstitutional. "If the kar sevaks were only associated with political organisations like VHP, Bajrang Dal or BJP and if these organisations are not banned by either the Central government or the state government then in those circumstances, as per law, they cannot be prevented from going to any place of India."

The court has further said, "the Uttar Pradesh government had powers to take necessary steps regarding the movement of kar sevaks. If they have shown negligence in taking steps, then on the basis of that there should not be criminal allegations against the authorities of the state government...".

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