//Pleas against Modi: court decision on December 4

Pleas against Modi: court decision on December 4

Legal Correspondent, The Hindu 25, 2006

Non-Resident Indians of the United Kingdom seek transfer of suits

# Complain of inadequacies in probe
# Suits raise grave and pertinent issues

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will decide on December 4 the admissibility of three petitions filed by non-resident Indians of the United Kingdom seeking transfer of suits filed against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the State Government claiming damages of over Rs. 22 crores for the Godhra riots.

A three-Judge Bench comprising Justices K.G. Balakrishnan, L.S. Panta and D.K. Jain delinked the transfer petitions filed by Imran Mohammad Salim Dawood and two others from the petitions seeking transfer of riot related cases outside Gujarat.

Initially, the Bench wanted to know from senior counsel Indra Jaising as to why the Chief Minister had been personally impleaded.

It asked counsel to first delete the name of the Chief Minister.

However, when counsel for Gujarat opposed issuing notice on the petitions, it posted them for admission on December 4.

The petitioners alleged that the acts of omission and commission on the part of the Mr. Modi and others resulted in the total breaking down of the constitutional machinery in the State. They said the issue of defective investigation and trial and consequent failure of justice, warranting retrial, had not been considered by the State of Gujarat.

The consistent inadequacies in investigation, hostile witnesses, denial of justice to the Muslim community in Gujarat reflected a total miscarriage of the justice. The State under the leadership of Mr. Modi failed to deliver justice through its investigating agency.

They said the suits raised grave and pertinent issues. "The acts of the respondents in as much they continue with the policy of instilling fear and alienating the minority communities in the State of Gujarat coupled with the fact that Respondent No. 1 {lcub}Mr. Modi{rcub} continues to be the Chief Minister of the State, with the whole law and order machinery at his command creates reasonable apprehension that the petitioner will not be able to get justice if trial is conducted in the State of Gujarat."

Contending that they would not get justice in Gujarat, they prayed for a direction to transfer the suits to the Bombay High Court.