SC to hear petitions against Modi's remark

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New Delhi, Dec. 12: The Supreme Court will today hear petitions against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's "inflammatory" remarks on Sohrabuddin Sheikh Case.

Without issuing notice, a Bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Dalveer Bhandari on Monday said it was fixing the matter for final hearing on December 12. The proceeding which lasted barely for five minutes witnessed a heated exchange between the counsel appearing for those seeking action against Modi and those defending the Gujarat Government and the Chief Minister.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Gopal Subramanium, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, began attacking Modi saying when the matter was pending before the apex court "the statement of the Chief Minister is prima-facie a complete interference with the process of justice".

He also placed before the Bench the translated version of the transcript of the speech given by Modi at Mangrol in Gujarat on December 4 and said what he spoke was opposite to what State Government's special counsel K T S Tulsi had submitted before this court.

Tulsi, who has preferred not to appear in the matter after Modi's statement, had expressed shock about the fake encounter and had assured the court that the guilty will be punished, the ASG said.

The ASG was joined by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Soharabuddin's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh, who said the Chief Minister's statement was "gross contempt of court" and "affront to humanity and the Supreme Court".

"How can he justify to the people (about the fake encounter) when the matter was pending," Dave said.

However, senior advocates Arun Jaitley and Mukul Rohatgi, opposed their submission and said "what is the purpose of taking the matter today".

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for lyricist Javed Akhtar, who had sought registration of FIR against Modi for his alleged inflammatory speech, alleged that the Chief Minister was giving practically misleading statement and attempting to polarise the votes between the two communities.

Dave supported him and said Modi's statement amount to mockery of this court as the trial in the case was underway and would have direct bearing on it as it would place the prosecutors in uncomfortable position.

While the two sides were trading charges against each other, the Bench expressed its annoyance saying "we are not accustomed to this".

The application filed by Rubabuddin, Akhtar and others have also sought shifting of the trial of the case outside Gujarat and handing over the investigations to CBI.

They have sought initiation of contempt proceedings against Modi on the ground that his statement justifying the Sohrabuddin's killing contradicted his government's affidavit in the apex court.

ANI>

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