The Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed K G Menon, a senior advocate from Mumbai, to assist the Special Investigation Team (SIT) earlier constituted by it for a fresh probe or further investigations into 14 post Godhra riot cases.
A vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and G S Singhvi passed the order appointing Menon following a letter written by R K Raghavan, chairperson of the SIT, urging the court to provide it with the services of a legal expert to carry out the task.
On March 26, the apex court had set up a five-member SIT team following widespread criticism that investigations were biased in at least 14 riot cases. The apex court had constituted the SIT to enable it probe the allegations to ensure a free and fair trial.
It had earlier stayed the trial in these cases on the petitions filed by the National Human Rights Commission and the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) which sought a probe by the CBI and also transfer of the cases outside Gujarat.
On the basis of the petitions, a three-judge bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam had constituted the SIT with R K Raghavan, former director of the CBI, C B Satpathy a retired UP police, besides three senior officers from Gujarat, Geeta Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia.
The allegations of biased investigations related to some of the worse affected areas like Gulberg, Ode, Sardarpur, Naroda Gaon, Naroda Patiya, Baranpura, Machipith, Tarsali, Pandarwada and Raghovpura.