Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi came under the scanner of the Supreme Court, which on Monday ordered a probe within three months into a complaint that he, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted post-Godhra killings.
In an embarrassment to the BJP, many of whose leaders have been endorsing Modi as prime minister in 2014, a two-judge bench of the court ordered the probe by the Special Investigation Team on a complaint made by Jakia Nasim Ahesan, wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.
"SIT will inquire into the complaint made by the petitioner (Jakia) and file its report within three months," a bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and A K Ganguly said. Jakia had accused Modi and 62 others of aiding and abetting the persons involved in the killings in 2002 in the riots that followed the Godhra carnage.
The complaint made on June 8, 2006 by the wife of the Congress leader, who was killed along with 38 others by a mob at Gulbarga society, Ahmedabad during the riots, alleged that the police had not registered the FIR.
She approached the apex court after the Gujarat High Court refused on November 3, 2007 to give any direction and asked her to seek redressal before the Magistrate's Court. The bench headed by Justice Pasayat said it would be appropriate for the apex-court appointed SIT to look into her complaint.
The wife of the slain leader had alleged that between February and May 2002 there was a "deliberate and intentional failure" of the state government to protect the life and property of innocent denizens of this country through a "well executed and sinister criminal conspiracy" amongst the accused that resulted in the breakdown of Constitutional governance in the state.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Gujarat Government, had submitted that SIT headed by former CBI Director R K Raghavan, was already probing the case relating to Gulbarga society and the matter was pending before a trial court in Ahmedabad.
The complaint before the then DGP P C Pandey had alleged that both administration and police failed in their constitutional duty to maintain the law and order during the riots.
Earlier, Jakia had moved the apex court seeking her inclusion as prosecution witness in the case claiming herself to be witness to the gory incident at Gulbarga society. She had said that she was not allowed by the police and even the Gujarat High Court had rejected her plea.