Zakia Jafri, who petitioned court against the clean chit to Narendra Modi and 59 others in the 2002 Gujarat riots
Ahmedabad: In major relief for Narendra Modi, a Gujarat court today accepted a clean chit given to him in the 2002 communal violence in the state, rejecting a petition against the chief minister filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ehsan Jafri was burnt alive during the riots.
Mrs Jafri had challenged the closure report of a Supreme-Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that said there was no prosecutable evidence against Mr Modi.
Today's 350-page verdict comes just as the BJP has decided to launch an aggressive "Modi-for-PM" campaign ahead of next year's national election.
Here are the latest updates on this story:
Zakia Jafri, 75, wept as the court pronounced its verdict. She told NDTV that she was saddened, but not disheartened. Her lawyer has said that they will contest the decision of the Ahmedabad court within a month.
The BJP has called today's order "a victory of truth." The party's Arun Jaitley said, "Modi goes into the 2014 campaign untainted by propaganda. The verdict has proved that propaganda can never be a substitute for truth."
The SIT's lawyer said today, "There is no criminal case against Mr Modi now." A copy of the judgement will be released soon.
Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, was among the 68 people of Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad, killed by a mob on February 28, 2002. Mr Jafri's frantic phone calls for help to the police and politicians were allegedly ignored.
In April 2011, Sanjiv Bhatt, who was a senior police officer in 2002, said that at a meeting, Mr Modi told him and other cops to allow Hindus in the state to exact revenge for the killing of 59 karsevaks on the Sabarmati Express near Godhra.
But the SIT concluded that Sanjiv Bhatt's testimony was not reliable because he was nursing a grudge against the government as he was sidelined by the Modi administration.
The SIT also alleged that the petition was a motivated one and was filed at the instance of activist Teesta Setalvad.