Cares For Supreme Court
In Gandhi's Gujarat?
By Digant Oza
17 April, 2004
the Supreme Court is giving one after one bashing to the Govt. of Gujarat,
and the top leaders of BJP appealing the Muslim Community to vote for
BJP and join BJP, the Party leadership continuing the habit of Muslim
bashing is in full swing in the State, Which is growing more and more
intolerant. The Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Adavani's true colour like
chameleon was exposed the moment he entered with his Rath to Gujarat.
He rained all praises for Modi and said he is no less great than Vajpayee.
Advani praised Modi for good Governance where as the Supreme Court has
no faith in this Modi's Govt. Union Finance Minister Jashwantsingh,
who was in Ahmedabad when Best Backery judgment was given by the Supreme
Court gave clean chit to Narendra Modi. While admitting that the verdict
was a blot, on BJP, did not think it fit to demand resignation from
Gujarat chief Minister.
Chief Minister Narendra
Modi is learnt to have been cautioned by the BJP leadership in Delhi
to refrain from going on the offensive even though this could have been
an opportunity to consolidate the Hindu vote bank. Party insiders say
the chief minister was keen to turn this to an advantage by raising
the bogey of "anto-Gujarat forces out to tarnish the state's image."
However, the BJP
leadership feels this could invite prosecution for contempt of court
at an inopportune time. Besides, while there are limited gains to be
reaped from such an exercise within Gujarat - where party feels that
she is comfortably placed in most of the seats, the danger of an adverse
impact on the party's prospects in other states is much greater. BJP
sources say even from the Gujarat government's point of view, it is
unwise to take on the apex court which is going to hear the cases of
transfer of 13 other riot cases out of Gujarat, a day after the state
goes to the polls.
however, goes on with their intolerant and undemocratic behavior for
which arrests had to be undertaken both in Vadodara and Ahmedabad.
" I shall SEE
how you address public in Gujarat" was the challenge to TEESTA
SETALVAD, (Editor: Communal combat) who was to attend state-level Seminar,
organized by Islamic cultural center, in the Gaikwadi town Vadodara.
Dr. Pravin Togadia,
international secretary, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had thrown a challenge
to Teesta, but due to ill health, she could not make it.
Hashmi was in Vadodara on Sunday with her "Meri Awaz suno"
group of youth and faced the result of the planning.
ki Jung Me Hua Pankheru Dher" popular lines by a Sufi-Saint is
derogator to Bharat-Mata according to some of the activists of Vadodara
Vishwa Hindu Parishad which deserves bashing to those who display it
on their T-shirt.
and account seeking media persons was an experience, which is exclusive
to Vadodara, and difficult to believe outside this Gaikwadi town.
ACTIVISTS of the
NGO, Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) - including its founder
Shabnam Hashmi, sister of play right-activist Safder Hashmi is leading
a group of 27 youngsters from across the country of urge voters to elect
a government that promotes communal harmony, Who left New Delhi on April
7 and traveled thru state of Rajsathan but in Gujarat they only experienced
hostility and intolerance.
The group was roughed
up by VHP activists at a city hotel here on Sunday, half an hour after
they addressed a press conference to promote their nationwide mission
of motivating young voters to cast their vote against communal forces.
The miscreants also damaged the vehicles belonging to the group. Two
persons have been arrested in connection with the attack.
Even Mukesh Dixit,
a close associate of BJP MLA, Yegesh Patel, was spotted in the group
that told activists to stop "Hindu-bashing".
In Ahmedabad Bharat
Taili has been arrested for thratening to kill Teesta Setalvad for what
she has done in best beckery case, after illegally entering PRASHANT
office. Police is on lookout for one Dr. Atul Vaidya in the same offence.
NGOs of Gujarat have welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court for
the retrial of Best Bakery case out side Gujarat. This decision is the
landmark in the annals of Indian Judiciary. It may be recalled here
that petition demanding transfer was admitted by the supreme court before
the unfortunate verdict by the trial court of VADODARA, acquitting all
21 accused in Best Backery case. After the verdict memorandums signed
by eminent citizens were sent to the President of India, Chief Justice
of India, Chairperson of NHRC requesting to shift the Best Bakery case
outside Gujarat along with other cases. NGOs also demanded to transfer
all the cases to CBI from Gujarat police. A huge Human chain was organized
across the Nehru Bridge in Ahmedabad by Gujarat NGOs and a State Level
Convention was held at Dr. Ambedkar Hall by Movement for Secular Democracy.
Prior to it Press Conference was addressed in Mumbai and direct dialogue
was made with Justice Anand in the western zonal meet of the NHRC by
The present decision
of the SC may be able to restore faith on the Judiciary; even now PILs
are due for hearing on 21st April, before apex court, according to Gujarat
Alliance in Defense
of Democracy is a network set up by concerned citizens and organizations
involved in the efforts to bring about legal justice to the victims/survivors
of the Gujarat carnage 2002. ADD along with other, NGOs of Gujarat have
supported suggestion of amices curiae Harsh Salve to form various committees.
Regarding the transfer
of trial of specific cases out of Gujarat, Alliance in Defense of Democracy
have suggested that in the best interest of justice, the cases already
identified in the petitions must be transferred out of Gujarat. However,
Supreme Court should not ignore the fact that transfer outside the state
also would entail tremendous logistical complexities for the witnesses
like their livelihood, residential facilities, traveling, security and
many other issues. The following points require to be considered for
effective implementation of the judicial process:
That the Supreme
Court may direct the appropriate High Court / State Government to appoint
one or more full time fast track courts to direct the same to conduct
trial on a day to day basis without any unnecessary adjournments.
That it may be clarified
that the state of Gujarat be asked to bear all reasonable expenses related
to trial including appointment of special Public prosecutors, travel
and logistics for the witnesses as well as quality translations etc.
That it may be clarified
at the out set that the trial outside Gujarat would also mean that all
appeals related to the cases also lie in the relevant High Court outside
Looking at the logistics
and finding of judicial officers knowing Gujarati, the consensus was
on Mumbai as the preferred location.
Whereas we fully
endorse the NHRC recommendations that these cases be investigated by
the CBI. However, in case the same does not happen, the committee to
oversee the investigation by a retired senior police officer to be constituted
under your application also cover these ten cases before the trial starts.
ADD has requested
the highest court of the country to include the above points while deciding
the Gujarat riot related petitions.