The Special Investigation Team which investigated complaints against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in a riot case, told a court on that activist Teesta Setalvad might tamper with evidence if allowed to inspect original documents of the probe.
Opposing the application of Setalvad for permission to examine the original documents on behalf of Zakia Jafri in a magisterial court, the SIT cited last week's media reports on a criminal complaint filed by Teesta's former associate Rais Khan in a local court.
"There are media reports about a complaint in court that she was paying money to witnesses for the affidavits," alleged advocate R S Jamuvar, who was appearing for the SIT.
Rebutting the allegation, senior advocate Mihir Desai said that, "SIT was opposing Teesta's application for the examination much before Rais Khan's complaint."
"How come now they are citing these media reports? Unless the SIT was instrumental in filing this complaint," he wondered.
Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra was hearing the arguments on the applications filed by Zakia Jafri and Teesta Setalvad. Earlier, the court had granted permission for examination of original documents by lawyers of Zakia Jafri.
However, Setalvad had also by way of application urged that she be allowed to examine the original documents and produced a power of attorney granted in her favour by Jafri.
Zakia, wife of ex-Congress MP Eshan Jafri who was killed along with 68 others in Gulburg society riot case had filed a complaint against Modi and others for larger conspiracy in 2002 riots.
SIT after filing a closure report in the complaint against Modi and others as per the direction of Supreme Court had given copies of all the related documents to Zakia. However, Zakia had said in an application to the court that some documents were unreadable after which the court had given her permission to examine all the documents.
Granting request of the SIT for more time for further submissions, Magistrate has fixed the next hearing in the matter on July 4.
SIT, after concluding it's investigation in Zakia's complaint, had filed a closure report in the Metropolitan Court on February 8, giving clean chit to Modi and 57 others, including former State Ministers, officials and police officers.
Zakia Jafri seeking court's directions to the SIT to produce certain other documents including Interim Report filed in Supreme Court by SIT during the course of investigation and English translations of some statements taken in Gujarati.
Insisting that SIT should submit all the reports it has filed in SC, Advocate Desai cited major contradictions in preliminary report and final report of SIT. He further argued that, "SIT had come to one conclusion at one stage and another conclusion at another stage."
"We are not saying that SIT is barred from coming to different conclusions. But Court should know why and on what basis SIT came to different conclusions. This procedural aspect should be complied. Hence all the documents should be produced before the court," Desai added.
"Interim report, submitted by A K Malhotra of SIT, strongly suggested grave inactions of high ranking police officers during 2002 riots, like the then JCP P C Pande and DCP P B Gondia. But in final report SIT has totally changed its stand on them when SC appointed amicus curiae has strongly recommended filing of criminal charges against those cops," he argued.