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Gujarat riots

Supreme Court dismisses 2002 Gujarat riots cases

Print edition : Aug 31, 2022 T+T-

Supreme Court dismisses 2002 Gujarat riots cases

A view of the Supreme Court of India.

A view of the Supreme Court of India. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Apex court terms pleas as “infructuous with the passage of time”.

The Supreme Court has disposed of the pending Gujarat riots cases that were seeking its intervention, terming them “infructuous with the passage of time”. A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit and Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and J.B. Pardiwala disposed of 10 cases, including one filed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), that sought further investigation into the 2002 communal riots that left more than 1,000 dead.

With the Supreme Court dismissing the pleas, the cases, including even those investigated by the Special Investigation Team, will essentially see complete closure. The cases included those filed by the NHRC, special writ leave petitions by families of riot victims and the Citizens for Justice and Peace, an NGO, seeking transfer of investigation from the Gujarat police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). With regard to the Naroda Gam case, which is still in trial, the court said that it would wait until the ruling comes through before taking a decision.

“Since all the matters have now become infructuous, this court is of the view that it need not entertain these petitions any longer. Disposed of as having become infructuous,” said the court order, in the National Human Rights Commission vs State of Gujarat TP(Crl) 194-202/2003 case and nine other connected cases.

With regard to the cases filed by activist Teesta Setalvad, who is currently held in prison, the bench said: “As regards with protection that was prayed for by Ms. Setalvad, the liberty to her to make an appropriate prayer and move application to concerned authority is granted. As and when such application is made, it shall be dealt with in accordance with law.”