Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected Zakia Jafri's plea challenging lower court order upholding SIT's clean chit to then CM Narendra Modi and others for larger conspiracy in 2002 riots.
Jafri, wife of slain former MP Ehsan Jafri, and activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace had moved the criminal review petition against a magistrate’s order upholding the clean chit given by the SIT to Modi and others regarding the allegations of a “larger criminal conspiracy” behind the riots.
The petition demanded that Modi and 59 others— including senior police officers and bureaucrats—be made accused for allegedly being part of a conspiracy which facilitated the riots.
Following is the chronology of events related to the case:
February 28, 2002: A violent mob of 400 people attacked Muslim dominated Gulbarg society that killed 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.
June 8, 2006: Ehsan Jafri's widow, Zakia Jafri, wanted to register a case against the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, along with 62 ministers and others for their alleged involvement in the Gulbarg Society massacre, but the police refused to do so.
November 2, 2007: Gujarat High Court rejects Zakia Jafri's plea for registration of FIR against CM Modi.
March 26, 2008: Supreme Court appoints a four-member Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director R K Raghavan to conduct investigation into 14 Godhra and post-Godhra communal riots cases.
August 2009: SIT files charge sheet in the Gulbarg society massacre case.
August 2010: The Supreme Court permits the Special Investigation Team to conduct further probe on the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri alleging that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others orchestrated the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
March 11, 2011: Supreme Court instructs SIT to cross check the arguments presented by Raju Ramchandran, who has been helping in the investigation.
June 18, 2011: Raju Ramchandran visits Ahmedabad to submit his report in response to SIT's report and meets the witnesses.
July 25, 2011: Raju Ramchandran submit his report to SC which contained evidence he obtained on his own (not of SIT) and recommends that case be filed against CM Modi.
July 28, 2011: Raju Ramchandran's report is kept a secret by SC and even refuses to share with SIT and Gujarat government.
September 12, 2011: Supreme Court asks the local magistrate whether a probe can be conducted against CM Modi. It was before the submission of final report of SIT.
February 8, 2012: SIT submits a brief report to the Supreme Court before Ahmedabad's magistrate court.
February 9, 2012: Zakia Jafri and social worker Teesta Setalvad approach the court to get a copy of SIT report. SIT had refused to share its complete report with Zakia Jafri.
February 15, 2012: Metropolitan court magistrate directs the SIT to submit its complete report.
March 15, 2012: SIT submits its complete report and case papers.
April 10, 2012: Magistrate court goes through the report that demanded the case be dismissed. The report had said the case in which CM Modi has been indicted does not contain any evidence against him. The local court instructs SIT to give a copy of its report to Zakia Jafri.
April, 2013: Zakia Jafri challenges the SIT report and files a petition in the metropolitan court.
December, 2013: Metropolitan court dismisses Jafri’s and others’ petition to file criminal case against CM Modi and others, following which Zakia Jafri approached the Gujarat HC in 2014.
High Court completed its proceedings on July 3. The court heard the petitions filed by Jafri and social worker Teesta Setalvad from the NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace.
The verdict on this case was scheduled to be pronounced on August 9, 2017, but Justice Sonia Gokani who was hearing the case reserved the order till August 21, 2017.
November 2014: The Supreme Court asks the Sessions Court to complete the trial in the Gulberg case, one of the nine cases connected to the 2002 post-Godhra riots, in three months.
August 6, 2015: Supreme Court grants three-month extension to Ahmedabad court to complete trial proceedings in the case.
September 2015: Trial court completes trial in the case involving examination of 338 witnesses and long drawn arguments by both sides.
February 2016: Supreme Court lifts stay on pronouncing verdict and asks the trial court to complete the process by May 31, 2016.
June 2, 2016: Special court convicts 24 persons and acquitted 36 persons.
June 17, 2016: 11 get life imprisonment for Gulberg Society massacre; one gets 10 years in jail and 12 convicts get seven years.
October 5, 2017: Gujarat High Court rejected Zakia Jafri's plea challenging lower court order upholding SIT's clean chit to then CM Narendra Modi and others for larger conspiracy in 2002 riots.