by Teesta Setalvad
Today i.e.. November 13 2014 the Supreme Court of India Ordered Day to Day Hearing of the Gulberg Trial and completion of the Trial within 3 months. It did not Its Vacate Stay on the Trial Court Judgement (operative since May 2010) (as requested by SIT). The state of Gujarat tried to confuse the issue but fortunately our team, Ms Aparna Bhat had a detailed status report prepared by us which was read out to the Hon’ble Court.
Detailed Background / Status report on Gulberg Trial is Pasted Below
SIT has filed an application to Vacate Stay on Judgement. Our Advocate Ms Aparna Bhatt pointed out to the Court that over two years delay had been caused by the SIT refusing to produce documents related to Witness Application under Section 319 seeking to make MK Tandon, PN Gondia and others accused in the Trial. Finally after the HC rejected their obstructionist attempts they produced the documents in August this year. We have still not been given a copy. (Detailed Dates and SIT instructions given below).
Gulberg Case – SC No. 152/02
Trial Suspended from July 2012 until March 2014 when the Gujarat High Court rejected SIT’s frivolous application challenging the Order of the Sessions Court dated May and June 2012.
Special Court Judge BJ Dhandha in Sessions Case No. 152/02 and others through an order 31 May 2012 (Order at Exhibit 1577) directed the SIT to produce documents related to joint commissioner of police, MK Tandon and P.B. Gondia as the papers were related to the further investigation directed by the Supreme Court. The further investigations into the Gulberg trial, especially vis a vis the alleged criminal conduct of these two police officers were sought to be prevented from coming on record by the SIT by deliberately confusing this case with the wider criminal conspiracy in the Zakia Jafri v/s Narendra Modi and 59 Others case.
The further application u/s Section 319 ( Exhibit 1577) was moved by us witnesses in Special Sessions court dated 12.5.2012 and it was on this application that the Court pronounced the order on 31.5.2012 stating inter alia that, while at this stage no order is passed in this application.
The SIT did not comply with the said order dated 3.7.2012 passed by the Sessions Court
[Exb.1661] and in fact moved the Sessions Court to review its own Order. This was also turned[ down by a final Order of the Sessions Court passed on 3.7.2012. (Exb.1748 and 1730) In this context the affidavit filed by Himanshu Bhatt of the SIT dated 18.6.2012 resisting the application of the Sessions Court Order (Exhibit1754) is noteworthy. It is important to note that the Special PP RC Kodekar had noted that he had no objection to the documents being prayed for in our application. The SIT continued to play a dilatory and destructionist role.
The SIT submitted the closure report filed before a lower court in the Zakia Jafri case but this has been kept in a sealed cover and sought to leave to challenge the orders in the High Court. The SIT thereafter on 24.7.2012 moved the Special Criminal Application (SCR) 2249/2012 in the Gujarat High Court. (Exhibit 1730 and 1748).
Witness Survivors have filed their Affidavit-in Reply in the said SCR but were distressed that no hearings have taken place in the Gujarat High Court and the entire the Trial process has been stalled.
Judge BJ Dhandha retired in September 2013 and another Judge KK Bhatt has been assigned to hear the Trial but not a single hearing has taken place.
The closure report in the Zakia Jafri case was filed on 8.2.2012 before the Magistrate (a lower court than the Special Court hearing the Gulberg trial) and the protest petition therein was argued through 2013. While the Magistrate hearing the case rejected the protest petition by it’s Order dated 26-12-2013, the SIT is seeking shelter under this to conceal critical evidence about the allegedly criminal conduct of Tandon and Gondia before a higher court, the Sessions Court hearing this, i.e. the Gulberg trial.
In effect therefore, the Trial in the Gulberg Society Carnage case had been completely stalled since July 2012 largely because of the SIT’s reluctance to make available relevant documents.
In December 2009, witnesses had moved an application under Section 319 of the CrPC seeking to arraign more accused (Exhibit Nos exhibit 738) including former joint commissioner of police MK Tandon and former deputy commissioner of police PB Gondia. In its order passed on 18.1.2010 vide Exb.738 the Special Sessions Judge allowed the application vis a vis one accused namely Rajesh Dayaram Jingar, rejected it vis a vis three accused namely (1) Manish Somabhai Patel @ Manish Splendar (2) Mahendra Pukhraj (3) Jagrupsing Rajput but kept the issue of arraigning the two senior policemen pending since further investigation into their criminal negligence was still being conducted by the SIT on 3.10.2011,
Witness Victim Survivors thereafter moved an Application (Exhibit Nos 1661) to access the relevant documents of investigation. An application to stay the proceedings until these documents were brought on record was rejected by the Sessions Court and the matter appealed by Victim Survivors in the Gujarat high Court (SCR 3322/2011). While rejecting the application, the Hon’ble Gujarat high court in its order dated 29.12.2013 (Para 17) observed, “I have given thoughtful consideration to this aspect of the matter. There is no dispute that the Hon’ble Apex Court directed the SIT to comply with the directions issued in paragraph no.9 in the order dated 12.9.11 and thereafter even the Sessions Court vide order dated 9.11.11 almost issued the said direction to the SIT and till date no report is filed either before the Court having competent to take cognizance of the matter and till date no copies of such report and documents have been furnished to the Court of Session. In the above view of the matter. The respondent no.2 should take immediate action and the submissions advanced by Mr.A.C. Choksi. Learned Special Public Prosecutor for the respondent no.2 that the report shall be submitted at the earliest should be followed in its true spirit.”
The entire evidence in this trial has been recorded and final arguments have been virtually concluded in the trial. It was a pending application under Section 319 CrPC where a judicial order had kept the issue of arraigning joint Commissioner of Police MK Tandon, DCP P.B. Gondia, (Note No.2) Police Commissioner P.C.Pandey and I.O. S,S,Chudasma A.C.P. Crime Branch pending, that the applications by Witness Survivors for additional documents were made. The next date of hearing in SCR 2249/2012 was then on 19.2.2014
Finally the Gujarat High Courtr dismissed the Application by the SIT ruling against it. The SIT finally submitted the Index of Documents from which Witmess Advocates have to indicate the relevant documents on 05.08.2014. The next date for hearing is 25.07.2014
ROZNAMA (while SIT had effectively stayed the Trial by Its application against the Sessions Court Order granting documents dated May and June 2012).
17.9.13 Formal date is given.
1.10.13 Accused produced in the ‘E’ Court. Accuse No.17 and 49 accused exception from appearance application submitted in the court and granted vide exb. No. 1822
12.10.13 Addl Session Judge K.K. Bhatt. [Sp. P.P. Shri R.C. Kodekar was absent} SIT moved for medical relief for accused [PC Mehboobbhai was present] Accused No.17 Kalpesh Purohit’s medical certificate produced vide exb. 1823 in the court. Notice issued to guaranteer and NBW against accused No. 1 to 7.
25.10.13 Matter adjourned to 11.11.13 for final arguments due to matter pending in High Court
11.11.13 Matter adjourned to 25.11.13 for final arguments due to matter pending in High Court
25.11.13 Matter adjourned to 10.12.13 for final arguments due to matter pending in High Court
3.12.13 Accused produced in the court today. Accused No.3 Sandeep @ Sonu Ghungruvado ( SC. No. 167/03) And accused No.3 Surendrasing Digvijay Singh ( SC. 152/02) and Accused No. 43 Narayan Sitaram (S.C. No. 194/04) application about discussion and to take guidance vide exb.1829. Exb. 1829 application of the accused rejected.
10.12.13 Matter adjourned on. 26.12.13 due to matter pending in High Court
26.12.13 Pursis vide Exb.1832 about death certificate of Accused No.17 Court is on leave today. So, next date on 9.1.14
Matter adjourned to 9.1.14 due to matter pending in High Court
9.1.14 Order as per Exb.1834. Recorded Nodel Officer to File The report
Matter adjourned to 21.1.13 due to matter pending in High Court
21.1.14 Report not submitted vide Exb. 1835 accused no.17’s death
Matter adjourned to 4.2.14 due to matter pending in High Court
24.1.14 Order to take necessary action against Transfer warrant of Accused No.1 Kailash Lalchand Dhobhi by DCB II Cr.No.3132/13 and send to criminal department II. SIT submitted report to inquire about the death of accused no.17 vide exb.1836
Matter adjourned on. 17.2.14 for final arguments due to matter pending in High Court
17.2.14 Matter adjourned on. 3.3.14 to submit arguments due to matter pending in High Court
20.2.14 Copy of order by the Gujarat High Court in Cr.Mis.A. No. 136/14 submitted in the court by accused Jayesh Ramjibhai Parmar vide exb.1838.
3.3.14 Speedy Trial Application submitted in the court vide exb. No.1839 on behalf of witnesses Sayraben Sandhi, Firoz Gulzar Pathan, Rupa Dara Modi and Salim Noor Mohammed Sandhi by Advocate S.M. Vora. Copy was received by Prosecution. Next date of hearing on 10.3.14
Matter adjourned to. 18.3.14 due to matter pending in High Court
5.3.14 Received the copy from criminal department II vide exb.no. 1841 about Writ in the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court Cr.M.A. No. 2249/12
10.3.14 Court is on leave so hearing of Exb.1839 postponed.
18.3.14 Written reply submitted in the court by Sp.P.P. about SIT officer application vide exb.1839. which submitted Exb.1843
Matter adjourned to 15.4.14 to, submit arguments
Hearing of Exb.1839 on dt.7.4.14
Next date. 31.3.14
31.3.14 Court is on leave. Next date 15.4.14
7.4.14 Rejoinder affidavit Exb.1845 submitted in the court against the witnesses vide exb.1843 reply by the SIT.
For hearing vide exb. 1839 on dt.18.4.14 in the noon around 2.45 pm
11.4.14 Writ certified copy of Honble Gujarat High Court in Cr, M.
A.No.3911/14 vide exb.1846 submitted in the court.
15.4.14 Matter adjourned to 29.4.14
For hearing vide exb. 1839 on dt.18.4.14 in the noon around 2.45 pm
18.4.14 Court heard arguments in Exb.1839 and admitted SIT IO Sur-Rejoinder vide Exb.1848 Court heard Sp.PP’s Arguments
Court adjourned for argument reply by Sp.PP .
22.4.14 Court heard in Exb.1839 Sp.PP argument reply by S.M. Vora. So, adjourned and on order vide exb.1839.
29.4.14 Matter adjourned to. 13.5.14 to for final arguments due to matter pending in High Court;
For further hearing and order in Exb.1839 . So, adjourned to
13.5.14 Matter adjourned to 27.5.14 to submit arguments in favour of Accused due to dilatory tactics by the SIT. For further hearing and order in Exb.1839 . So,
adjourned to dt.27.5.14
27.5.14 Matter adjourned to 10.6.14 to submit arguments
For order in Exb.1839 . So, adjourned on dt.27.5.14
10.6.14 Court is on leave. So next date.24.6.14
Matter adjourned to 24.6.14. For orders in Exb.1839 .
24.6.14 Matter adjourned to 08.07.2014 to submit arguments in favour of accused due dilatory tactics by the SIT For order in Exb.1839 . So, adjourned on dt.8.7.14
8.7.14 Order declared in Exb.1839- Witness application for Documents was finally allowed
Matter adjourned to 22.7.14
22.7.14 Court is on leave. SIT IO Himanshu Shukla given application to take
15 days time to submit the copies in the court to Sp.P.P. vide Exb.1839 and this exb. No. 1856.
Matter adjourned to 5.8.14.to submit arguments in favour of accused due to Supreme Court stay order
2.8.14 Cr.M.A. No. 11343/14 of the Gujarat HC Xerox copy of writ vide exb.1858
Cr.M.A. No. 11260/14 of the Gujarat HC Xerox copy of writ vide exb.1859
Cr.M.A. No. 10494/14 of the Gujarat HC Xerox copy of writ vide exb.1860
Cr.M.A. No. 9491/14 of the Gujarat HC Xerox copy of writ vide exb.1861
5.8.14 Order’s copy submitted in Exb.1839 by the Sp.P.P. in the court vide Exb. 1863
Order to “abate” Accused No.17 Ratilal Ganeshji Kumbhar on cause of death.
Matter adjourned to 19.8.14 for arguments
INDEX of Documents submitted to Witness Advocates by the SIT
7.8.14 Cr.M.A. No. 11260/14 of the Gujarat HC Xerox copy of writ vide exb.1864
19.8.14 Application to provide documents in favour of witnesses in Exb.1839 by Advocate S.M. Vohra’s with Exb.1866.
Fixed for hearing. Matter adjourned to. 2.9.14 to submit arguments in favour of accused due to Supreme Court stay order
2.9.14 Copy of order by the Gujarat High Court in Cr.Mis.A. No. 12643/14 submitted to the court by accused Jayesh Madanlal Jingar vide exb.1868
Copy of Letter of High Court Ahmedabad about the order of the Supreme Court by Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court wide Ex.1869
Matter adjourned on. 11.9.14.for final arguments
For hearing in Ex.1866
Next date 11.9.14
11.9.14 Court adjourned for requested by Advocate Salim in favour of witnesses and Sp.P.P. Kodekar to give copy of documents oraly.
Next date 25.9.14
Matter adjourned to 25.9.14 for witnesses to submit list of documents needed to press Section 319 application
Update for 13.11.2-14
Note:- Judge K.K. Bhatt retired on.30.9.2014 and the new designated Judge P.B Desai was appointed on 15.10.2014
(Note: List of Documents from Index along with all documents pertaining to more accused sought to be arraigned in the Section 319 application i.e. MK Tandon –then Joint CP, Ahmedabad, PB Gondia, then DCB Crime Branch, Ahmedabad etc submitted by the SIT to the Court on 5.8.2014. Witness Survivors moved application before the Court to provide them with a copy on 19.08.2014 (Exhibit 1866). Though the Court fixed the date for hearing of the application on 2.9.2014, the said application has not yet been heard by the Court and no documents have been received by us to this day.)
25.9.14 Matter adjourned to 9/10/14 for Submission of documents
9.10.14 Matter adjourned to 20/11/14 for Submission of documents
20.10.14 Matter adjourned to 5/11/14 for Submission of documents
05.11.14 Matter adjourned to 19/11/14 for Submission of documents
There is no Order in Gulberg for Fixed days for hearing in the Week
Next date of Hearing is now 19.11.14