“The final order on the closure report shall not be pronounced till the disposal of this case here,” a Special Bench of justices D K Jain, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam said.
The court also issued a notice to the state government and sought its response on the petition by Zakia, who has contended that she could not file a proper protest petition against the closure report unless she was furnished all the documents relating to the probe by the SIT in the case.
Jafri was among 69 people killed by a mob during the riots at Gulberg Housing Society in the city on February 28, 2002.
Zakia further sought a stay on the proceedings in the trial court, arguing that the Ahmedabad court had on November 27 last accepted the SIT closure report of March 2012 in the case and it could pronounce the final order any day now.
While issuing notice to the government, the Bench also questioned if the state could argue anything in the matter since the SIT was constituted by the court orders and hence its reports were the court’s properties.
In another related development, senior advocate Harish Salve, who has been assisting the court as amicus curiae in nine of the post-Godhra riots cases, said he would wish to move an application for relocating key witnesses and for continuing with their security.
On the issue of supplying SIT reports to Zakia, Salve raised the contention that six trials have already been concluded in related cases and if the apex court now allowed the report to be given to anyone, accused in those cases could also rake up the same issue.
He also forwarded a letter by SIT chairperson R K Raghavan who was being repeatedly asked by the Nanavati Commission that has been probing the riots to submit the SIT reports. Salve argued that the reports would hence come in the public domain and that it was for the Commission to carry out its independent inquiry without any reliance on the SIT reports.
At this, the Bench cited its previous order, making it clear that the SIT will not divulge any part of the report to any other person or agency. “Our order was not related to any particular case but related to all investigations conducted by the SIT. Our earlier order is not vague,” it said while posting the matter for ascertaining if any other court or the Gujarat High Court has ever allowed disclosure of the SIT reports.