An Ahmedabad court has ruled that 2002 Gujarat riots victim Zakiya Jafri has lost the right to petition against a closure report filed by a Special Investigation Team that gave a clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.
The court observed today that Ms Jafri - wife of Congress leader Ehsaan Jafri, who was burnt alive by a riotous mob in February 2002 - had failed to file the petition despite repeated extensions being granted.
Ms Jafri's lawyer has contended that she had informed the court earlier that she had sought some clarification from the Supreme Court and needed time to file her petition. He said they would challenge today's order in the Supreme Court.
Ms Jafri's case relates to the killing of her husband and 68 people on February 28, 2002 at the Gulberg Housing Society in Ahmedabad where the Jafris lived. Ms Jafri alleges that Mr Modi and several senior ministers and officials did nothing to prevent the killings, despite several frantic calls made by Mr Jafri to the police and even to the Chief Minister's office, for help as a mob attacked the housing complex.
The Supreme Court had set up the SIT to look into Ms Jafri's case and other cases. In February this year, the SIT gave a clean chit to Mr Modi, saying it has found no evidence against him and 61 other accused in the case. The SIT filed a closure report on which the Ahmedabad court has been conducting a hearing.