SIT closure report: Zakia plea referred to larger SC bench

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court Monday referred a petition to a larger bench for adjudicating a plea by Zakia Jafri, wife of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, over making available to her all the documents relating to the 2002 Gulberg Society riot case.

Zakia has moved the SC against an order of a trial court, which had refused her plea over supply of certain documents relating to the investigation by the Special Investigation Team in the case. Jafri was among 69 people killed by a mob during the riots at Gulberg Housing Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002.

The SIT has filed a closure report in the case, giving a clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others accused of complicity in the case. The trial court in Ahmedabad had on November 27 accepted this closure report filed in March by the SIT. It also closed Zakia's right to file a protest petition against the closure report.

Zakia has, however, claimed before the SC that she could not file the protest petition since she was not provided with all the documents, in compliance with the apex court's previous order of September 12, 2011.

Her lawyer Kamini Jaiswal argued that she must be given all the documents, including the report submitted in a sealed cover, by the SIT before an apex court bench.

A bench headed by Justice D K Jain, however, noted that a larger bench had passed the directive over supplying documents to her and hence it would be proper for the same bench to observe its compliance.

"We don't have the jurisdiction to either explain the order of a larger bench or execute compliance of its order. It will not be proper for us to pass any order. Propriety also demands that the matter be referred to the larger bench which had passed the order," the bench observed while referring Zakia's plea to the larger bench.

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