Ahmedabad: The Supreme Court-formed SIT, the prosecution agency in 2002 Gulberg Society riot case, here today defended four former top-ranked Gujarat police officials in connection with survivors’ plea to arraign them as accused.
Special Public Prosecutor R C Kodekar of Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday said before the Gulberg Society trial court judge P B Desai that the no criminal negligence was observed in conduct of the four police officials during the time of the massacre.
Earlier, the survivors of the riot had made an application to arraign four officials, including the then city Police Commissioner P C Pandey, former Joint Commissioner of police M K Tandon, former Assistant Commissioner of police P B Gondiya and the then Assistant Commissioner of police (crime branch) S S Chudasama, saying they did not react on time to rein in a mob that went on rampage and killed 69 people from the minority community.
The deceased persons include former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.
Kodekar today said that SIT’s stand is clear from the day one on the arraignment of the accused as on January 6, 2010, the probe agency had stated that there was no negligence in the conduct of M K Tandon.
“In a case of negligence in performing duty, SIT had earlier suggested conduct of a departmental inquiry. SIT stands by its earlier stand today also in connection with the plea seeking further inquiry under section 173 (8) of CrPC,” said Kodekar.
Kodekar mentioned that former investigating officer of SIT, A K Malhotra, the then Deputy Inspector General in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said in a report before the apex court that Tandon and other three officials had not conducted any negligence during the riots.
That report was submitted before the Supreme court in 2011 and amicus curiae of the case Raju Ramchandran has also submitted his report in the case, after which the apex court had directed that the court, trying the riot case, can take cognisance of that report, he said.
Kodekar is likely to continue his submissions on April 1.
Advocate S M Vora, who represents the victims of the Gulberg Society riot case, had yesterday said before the Special Trial court that the four police officials did not take adequate action to control the mob on the day of the incident on February 28, 2002.
The Gulberg Society incident had taken place a day after a coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra railway station, in which 58 people kar sevaks were killed.