There are a number of cases pending against the Prime Ministerial Candidate of BJP, Narendra Modi, in the different courts. Majority of these cases pertain to the alleged involvement of Modi in the post Godhra Riots of Gujarat in 2002, while some less serious cases had been appended to the list recently. Discussed below are some of the cases pending against Narendra Modi.
The Gujarat riot cases of 2002:
While Modi and the BJP heaves a sigh of relief with the Metropolitan Court verdict going against the petition of Zakia Jafri, the fact remains that there are at least a dozen pending cases in the different courts against Modi pertaining to the 2002 riots of Gujarat. As commented by the senior advocate Mukul Sharma, “Riot cases relating to Naroda, Naroda gam, Gulbarg Society, Prantij, Mehsana (Deepda Darwaja), Pandarwada, Sardarpura as well as the fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauserbi, Tulsi Prajapati, Israt Jahan and Sadik Jamal are at various stages in the courts. There are numerous other cases. So, it is not that Modi government is given a clean chit and will not face problems in the future”.
The Gulbarg Massacre was a part of the communal atrocities committed in Vadodara. On February 28th, 2002 Gulbarg Society, essentially an upper middle class Muslim housing society, was burnt to cinders by a mob resulting in the death of 69 people including Ehsan Zafri. It had been reported that the late Congress MP Ehsan Jafri had implored the attackers of the Gulbarg Housing Society to spare the women and children upon which he was paraded naked in front of the society. Yet, when he still refused to hail ‘Jai Shri Ram’ he was decapitated and the bodily remains were thrown into fire. Zakia Jafri happens to be the widow of Ehsan Jafri, the former Congress MP and one of the victims of the Gulbarg Society Massacre in 2002 in which 69 people were killed following the Godhra incident.
Zakia Jafri was chasing the issue that Narendra Modi and the others indicted in the 2002 riot cases should be made to stand trial for conspiracy of the initiation of the communal violence that tore Gujarat apart in 2002. However, a magistrate’s court in Ahmedabad gave a verdict against the appellant Zakia Jafri’s efforts to challenge the case closure report of the Special Investigative Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court, which had given Narendra Modi and 58 others a clean chit regarding their alleged involvement in the 2002 riot cases of Gujarat. As of October 2013, the Metropolitan Court had adjourned its ruling but finally on December 26th, 2013 the court verdict had gone against Zakia Jafri’s plea with no case being framed against Narendra Modi.
The Gujarat Government had heartily accepted the verdict, rejoicing the fact that there is not an iota of tangible evidence against the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The Government also promised justice to the victims of the 2002 riots at the earliest possible opportunity. As further elaborated by the Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas to the media, “The decision has come after completion of due process of law, based on the independent investigations and reports by the SC appointed SIT, which took into consideration every aspect placed before it”. However, the Opposition leader of Congress, Shaktisinh Gohil in the State Legislative Assembly emphasized the fact that the ruling party BJP is seeing the latest verdict in a completely wrong light. The assumption that there is no shred of evidence is not actually true, and there is no mention of that fact anywhere. He further added that the final case closure report is subject to the situation when both the SIT and the amicus curaie reports are submitted to the lower court and the court takes a decision that there is really no existing or tangible evidence. Under such circumstances the appellant will also get a fair trial in the court. Modi, however, is confident that all the pending cases against him pertaining to the Gujarat riots, will be closed in a maximum of three years time and he will get a clean chit absolving him of all the accusations.
Defamation suit lodged against Modi by ex – DGP of Gujarat:
A libel suit had been filed against the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) President Rajnath Singh, BJP Party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi and Scientist Nambi Narayanan by the former Gujarat Director General of Police R B Sreekumar. In his appeal in a Delhi Court, Sreekumar had cited a 20 year old espionage case and had further chased the issue of the prosecution of the accused named in the petition on the grounds of conspiracy of trying to unjustly blemish his good reputation. As further mentioned in the petition, there was a pre-planned TV interview given by Lekhi in which she had allegedly dubbed Sreekumar as a double agent of the Central Intelligence Agency of the US (CIA) and had also accused Sreekumar for framing false espionage charges against Nambi Narayanan, then an employee for the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center. Sreekumar had then held the portfolio of the Deputy Director of the Intelligence Bureau in Thiruvanathapuram from 1992 to 1995. Referring to Lekhi’s TV interview of 1994 Sreekumar had further added that, Lekhi had termed him as a ‘traitor’ and an ‘anti – national’ in the said interview. Sreekumar’s plea awaits court hearing.
Case filed against Modi by Pandit Sharma on religious issues:
Pandit Charmesh Sharma, a resident of the Chatterpura area of Delhi had accused Modi in a petition filed before the Magisterial Court of inconsiderately hurting his religious feelings through the remark ‘toilets first, temples later’ in the speech delivered by Modi in Delhi on October 2nd,2013. While a deeply aggrieved Pandit Sharma had described his religious sentiments as being ‘severely hurt’ by such comments of Modi, Chief Judicial Magistrate Gambhir Singh had listed Sharma’s case for hearing on October 15th, 2013.
Inquiry Commission appointed by the UPA II Cabinet against Modi:
As of December 2nd, 2013, the UPA II Government had ratified the appointment of an Inquiry Commission for investigating the ‘snoopgate scandal’ involving Narendra Modi who had allegedly given the order for the illicit surveillance of a woman by the Gujarat Police in 2009. The proposed Inquiry Commission will be chaired by an ex- Supreme Court Justice and the Commission is due to deliver its investigation reports almost in congruence with the General Elections of 2014. The issue had been further confirmed by an official release as follows, “The Cabinet has approved a proposal to set up a Commission of Inquiry under Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 to look into the physical/electronic surveillance in the states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and the National Capitol Territory of Delhi, allegedly without authorization”. The fact that the decision of approving the proposed Inquiry Commission by the Union Cabinet came in less than ten days after the media had highlighted that the Government might be mulling over such a move evidently proves the efforts of the UPA II Government, gathering ammunition against the Prime Ministerial Candidate of BJP. Such ammunitions could be used effectively to slander the image of Narendra Modi on the eve of the 2014 elections.
Police complaint against Modi by Muslim advocate:
Practicing advocate Ghulam Rabbani had lodged a two page complaint against Narendra Modi with the Santosh Nagar Police Station in Hyderabad, demanding immediate arrest and prosecution of Narendra Modi. The complaints were about some controversial remarks made by Modi on July 12th, 2013, on the issue of the post – Godhra riots during an interview to the media at his Gandhinagar residence. In the complaint, Rabbi had emphasized Modi’s remarks as “highly provocative and malicious against Muslim community, with an intention to wound their religious feelings and provoke enmity between Hindus and Muslims”. In the said interview Modi had reiterated that he had no association with the 2002 riots of Gujarat and that he had been granted a clean chit by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). In the same interview when asked whether Modi regretted the riots or not, his answer was, “Even if a puppy comes under the wheel of a car one feels sad”. Such replies of Modi had attracted severe criticism from his politically opposed factions. As for the complaints lodged by Rabbi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Zone), Tarun Joshi had elaborated that, “The complaint was entered in the general diary of the police station. This is not a jurisdictional complaint falling in our area. We will take legal opinion otherwise we will transfer the complaint to the police station concerned”.