Home Page

  Communalism Combat

  India Rights & Wrongs







  Action Alerts




  Resources for



  About us


  Contact Us


  Sabrang Team













November 23, 2006

The Economic Times

SC pulls up Gujarat for lapses in '02 riot cases


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Gujarat government over the '02 riot cases, saying that it would not allow the derailment of the criminal justice administration system relating to the riots.  
The criminal justice procedure has been forgotten by the state machinery in such cases, the apex court sharply observed, while disagreeing with the plea that taking up these cases would set a new precedent in the criminal justice system.  
“The police cannot do whatever they like under the protection provided by the Criminal Procedure Code,” said a three-judge Bench hearing 14 Gujarat riot related cases. The Bench said that the court is not powerless in stepping into such cases.  
The court asked the state machinery, “Do you mean to say that the court is powerless where the chargesheets were not filed properly, the procedures of the Criminal Procedure Code were forgotten, post-mortem not properly done, bodies were buried and doctors gave false evidence?”  
Asking the amicus in the case, senior counsel Harish Salve, to submit a report on each such case and the suggestions and issues to be decided, the bench posted the case for further hearing on February 20. The state through its counsel Sourav Kirpal tried to argue that in these cases the investigation is complete and chargesheets have been filled.  
The state, in its application seeking the dismissal of such petitions said that criminal litigation is exclusively an issue between the prosecution and the accused and a third party has no right to interfere by way of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).  
There can be no monitoring after the chargesheet is filed, submitted the state in its application citing a judgement of the apex court. In the Rajiv Ranjan Singh vs Union of India case, the court has held that a PIL is totally alien to pending criminal proceedings, the application said.  
The National Human Rights Commission had moved the PIL and sought the transfer of trial of such cases outside the state. Senior counsel KTS Tulsi appearing for some of the accused said that the court cannot bypass the criminal justice procedure. His contention was that these are matters for the trial court to decide. And if the victims were not satisfied with the investigation, they have to file an application before the trial court.  
“We cannot invent a new procedure. The trial has to proceed in accordance with the law and the procedure of the Criminal Procedure Code,” Mr Tulsi said.