Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who was appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court in a 2002 Gujarat riots case, has advised that accusations against Chief Minister Narendra Modi should be cross-examined, media reports said on Monday.
Brought into national focus in recent months by the court affidavits of suspended senior Gujarat cop Sanjeev Bhatt, Modi has been accused of ordering police officials to remain indifferent to attacks during the communal riots in his state.
Ramachandran, a former Additional Solicitor General of India who was appointed amicus curiae or "friend of the court" to prepare an independent confidential report on the riots that was submitted this year in August, has reportedly suggested that these allegations should be cross-examined with senior police officers.
The Supreme Court on May 5 had asked Ramachandran to analyse, examine and go beyond the report submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which had largely let Modi off the hook, and submit his assessment of the evidence that has come on record.
Last month, in a verdict that was seen as a symbolic reprieve for Modi in the case, the apex court had delegated a trial court to decide if the controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader can be probed in the riots cases of 2002.
According to estimates by human rights groups, about 2,500 people, most of them Muslims, were hacked, beaten or burned to death in Gujarat after a suspected Muslim mob burnt alive 59 Hindu activists and pilgrims inside a train in February 2002 in Godhra.