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SC riot relief for Modi

New Delhi, April 11: The Supreme Court today refused to re-constitute the special investigation team that had given a clean chit to Narendra Modi on the Gulbarg Society massacre in which 69 people were burnt alive in 2002.

A bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and S.A. Bobde wanted to dismiss the petition but the petitioner, advocate A. Fatima, sought permission to withdraw the plea.

“The petitioner is granted liberty to approach an appropriate forum for appropriate relief at an appropriate stage. The petitioner has sought permission to withdraw the petition, the same is allowed,” the bench said.

Fatima had urged the apex court to re-constitute the SIT, headed by former CBI director R.K. Raghavan, by inducting at least three retired judges, including one from the minority community.

She alleged that the SIT that gave a clean chit to Modi in 2012 was biased and had tried to shield the chief minister’s alleged role in the riots.

On the directive of the apex court, the SIT had probed the Gulbarg society massacre case but said it had found no role of Modi in the said incident. The apex court had asked the SIT to probe Modi’s role on an application moved by Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was among those burnt alive in the housing society in the riots.

The SIT had filed a closure report last year before the trial court, saying it found no evidence of the chief minister’s involvement in the case.

Zakia’s petition challenging the SIT’s closure report is pending before Gujarat High Court.

However, the advocate chose to move the apex court directly, seeking reconstitution of the SIT.