Supreme Court terminated pending proceedings related to the riots in Gujarat in 2002 on Tuesday, observing that cases had grown infructuous over time.
The cases were dismissed as infructuous by a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Justices S Ravindra Bhat and JB Pardiwala. National Human Rights Commission, victims, and NGOs filed petitions before the top court asking for a thorough probe into the cases of violence during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The bench noted that trials in eight out of nine cases involving the Godhra riots have concluded, and final arguments are currently being heard in one case in the trial court in Naroda Gaon, Gujarat. The top court had established a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate these instances.
Speaking on behalf of the SIT, senior attorney Mukul Rohatgi informed the bench that only one case—the Naroda Gaon area—has reached the stage of final arguments and is still in the trial phase.
According to him, in the other cases, trials have already been finished, and the Supreme Court or High Court is hearing appeals in those cases.
The matters are consequently disposed of as being infructuous, the supreme court ruled in the ruling, adding that “because the matters have now become infructuous, this court is of the judgement that this court need not examine these petitions any longer.”
It stipulated that the Naroda Gaon trial must proceed to its conclusion in accordance with the law, and to that end, the SIT it formed is undoubtedly allowed to perform the necessary actions in compliance with the law.
Concerning activist Teesta Setalvad’s protection request, the bench stated that the proper authority in a case involving the Godhra riots might take her request into consideration. She was given permission by the supreme court to approach the relevant body, which was instructed to decide her application in accordance with the law.