Naroda Gam case: Guj court issues warrant against witness

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Photo AP
Photo AP

Ahmedabad, Jun 6 (PTI): A designated court, hearing the 2002 post-Godhra riots case of Naroda Gam area of the city where 11 persons were killed, today issued bailable warrant against a witness – a police inspector in CBI.

Designated trial court judge Jyotsna Yagnik issued bailable warrant against CBI inspector N S Raju and directed him to remain present before the court tomorrow for his deposition.

The court also warned the witness that, “if he would fail to attend the court as directed, a non-bailable warrant shall follow.”

“Raju was a part of the team which investigated the authenticity of CD in a sting operation done by reporter Ashish Khetan of Tehelka in which some of the accused of this case had made extra-judicial confessions,” advocate Shamshad Pathan, who is appearing in this case on behalf of some victims, told PTI.

After the publicity of that sting operation, National Human Rights Commission directed the CBI to probe its authenticity. Raju was a part of the team that had sent the CD to Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Jaipur, which had authenticated its content.

The trial court had on June three issued summons to Raju directing him to remain present before the court today but he did not appear and also did not intimate about his absence to special public prosecutor.

Taking a serious note of this conduct, the designated judge observed that, “…the witness has intentionally disobeyed the order of the court and has acted in a contemptuous manner.”

“This prima facie points out his intentional obstruction in the process of justice which is a clear interference with the administration of justice,” the judge further observed.

In the aftermath of the train burning incident at Godhra on February 27, 2002, violence had broken out in Naroda Gam industrial area where 11 people from the minority community had been killed.
Naroda Gam case is separate from Naroda Patiya case, in which the same judge had earlier given her verdict.

The trial in Naroda Gam case is underway against 82 accused including former state minister and BJP leader Maya Kodnani and VHP leader Jaideep Patel.

In the order, the court also observed that, “this court is of the firm view that this kind of attitude and that too, from a CBI officer can not be taken lightly as it is in clear violation of the basic norms required for any police officer to be observed.”

In an indirect warning to other witnesses, the court also observed that, “This kind of conduct would send wrong signals to the society as it amounts to lowering majesty of law.

Hence, it is humbly opined that this cannot be tolerated and the witness, who does not attend the court inspite of issuance of summons and orders passed by this court, needs to be called upon by the court by issuance of bailable warrant.”

The court also directed the investigating officer of this case, Himanshu Shukla, to immediately communicate the order by phone or fax or in any other mode, by which it is rightly communicated, to Raju.

 

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