Previous Investigation - Naroda Patiya Judgement
Previous Investigation - Naroda Patiya Judgement
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Previous Investigation - Naroda Patiya Judgement
PREVIOUS INVESTIGAPREVIOUS INVESTIGAPREVIOUS INVESTIGAPREVIOUS INVESTIGAPREVIOUS INVESTIGATIONTIONTIONTIONTION
GUJGUJGUJGUJGUJARAARAARAARAARAT POLICET POLICET POLICET POLICET POLICE
a-1) The police record of the statements recorded during
the previous investigation under Section 161 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure [CrPC] was submitted to be unreliable.
As a matter of fact, the learned advocates for the accused
have also advanced arguments contending that the previ-
ous investigation was manufactured and concocted. The
learned special public prosecutor [PP] has also begun with
the remarks that since the previous investigation was not
reliable and proper, there was a need to constitute the SIT.
Throughout the trial the examination-in-chief was based on
the statement before the SIT, if it was recorded for that PW.
a-2) As emphatically put forth by both sides, the entire
police record of statements is suspect and unreliable in this
a-3) The effect of the omissions has already been dis-
cussed at length and considering the condition of the vic-
tims, much importance to the non-mentioning of names in
the police statements prior to the SIT cannot be given.
a-4) Whether anybody from the mob was known to the
witnesses was a matter which could have been revealed by
the witnesses through specific questioning, on their attaining
normalcy, in that stress-free stage, and on regaining faith in
the system. This care was never taken by the previous inves-
a-5) No investigating officer [IO] or executive magis-
trate seems to have ever coolly and calmly elicited the de-
tails from the victims who were badly injured or were under
tremendous fear, which was needed at that time but, as it
appears, was not done in this case.
a-6) The first IO faces numerous allegations mainly for
his ill-treating Muslims; there is much uproar against him
among Muslims of Patiya.
a-7) The principle of communication is: an empathetic
listener alone is able to go into the world of the sufferer
but, as has emerged on record, insensitive and untrained
police officers could not do this; hence the victims lost
courage and confidence.
a-8) The ideal IO hears a statement, understands the
same and then, in conscience, puts it in context. He should
also make a restatement of the text and explain the same.
As has emerged on record, Shri KK Mysorewala has done
nothing of the sort.
a-9) As has been held in the citation produced by the
learned special PP at Sr. Nos. 35 and 37, it is clear that an
irregularity or defect, however serious it may be, has not to
be taken as a ground to acquit the accused. It would not be
proper to acquit an accused person solely on account of the
defects, as to do so would be tantamount to playing into
the hands of the investigating officer if the investigation
was designedly defective.
a-10) It has also been held that merely because the com-
plaint was lodged less than promptly, it does not raise the
inference that the complaint was false.
b-1) The guidance and oral instructions given by higher
officers for taking preventive steps on 27.02.2002 had not
been given due attention by Shri KK Mysorewala. Not a sin-
gle such step was taken.
b-2) Two incidents of burning Muslim shops on
27.02.2002 should have been taken as signals of the series
of horrifying and terrifying incidents to occur but nothing
was noted by Shri KK Mysorewala; not even was a police
point arranged near the wall of Jawan Nagar where the Mus-
lim chawls known as Jawan Nagar begin.
b-3) On 27.02.2002, since the two shops of Muslims
were burnt, complaints on record at Exh-2084 and 2085 of
ICR Nos. 96/02 and 97/02 were registered but no proper
and detailed investigation was done and no one was ar-
rested. This job could also have been assigned to some sub-
ordinate by Shri KK Mysorewala but he remained inactive, as
emerges on record.
b-4) After having learnt that 12 of the victim train pas-
sengers were from the Nava Naroda area, no proper bandobast
was made or informers were not used to find out about the
ill designs, if any, for 28.02.2002.
b-5) Vide the defence citation at Sr. No. 55 it has been
submitted that a deficient investigation itself gives clear
benefit of the doubt to the accused but on perusal of the
citation, it becomes clear that it has been held therein that
an inept or deficient investigation could never be sufficient
to reject the evidence of witnesses. Their credibility has to
be tested on other circumstances like the chances of their
being present at the place of occurrence, the credibility of
their claims of having seen the occurrence and the intrinsic
value of their evidence when they claim to be eyewitnesses
to the occurrence.
b-6) It hardly needs to be mentioned that in any case
the court has a duty to differentiate falsehood from truth
and to search out the truth. The deficiency in investigation
can in no manner entitle the defence to claim the benefit of
At this juncture it is fitting to mention that citation No.
15 of the prosecution is on the principle that a faulty inves-
tigation can never be cause to disbelieve the prosecution
story. This court is of the opinion that if an investigation is
defective or faulty, the accused cannot be held to be entitled
to secure the benefit of the doubt unless the defective inves-
tigation is shown to have prejudiced the accused.
c-1) As discussed above, the first IO, Shri KK Mysorewala
[PW-274], did not take even elementary and routine steps
and has avoided doing investigations altogether. This court
believes that in all such cases of neglect, or maybe ineffi-
ciency, one cannot be labelled to have malice or criminality.
In these kind of cases, effective and efficient investigation
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
helps search the truth. Up to 01.03.2002, most of the
vital investigation should have been completed by the
first IO but if the record is seen, the entire investiga-
tion was conducted in a sluggish manner by Shri KK
c-2) Mr KK Mysorewala had seen the incidents on
27.02.2002 but even after that, he let the grass grow under
c-3) As it seems, the first investigating agency wasted
lots of time, right from 28.02.2002 to 08.03.2002, even
wasted available resources and did not secure scientific evi-
dences; the investigation was carried out for the sake of
carrying it out, PW-274 was never involved in the investi-
Shri KK Mysorewala deposes on having done lots of
police firing on the day, at the site. This becomes ex-
tremely doubtful when different PWs have deposed that
while at midnight they were taken to relief camps, there
were violent mobs on the road, creating hurdles for the
vehicle carrying victims. At that time there were four to
five policemen in the vehicle and still, either by burst-
ing one tear-gas shell or by firing in the air, those four
to five policemen were able to meet entire violent mobs
which were stopping the vehicles carrying the victims
(illustration, para 133, PW-73).
If this was the effect of a single firing, what would have
been the effect of a series of firings, as per the claim of PW-
274? This also goes with the fact that not a single evidence
has been produced by the first IO to show the genuineness
of the amount of firing claimed to have been done by him.
The attempt is not to opine that there may not have been
police firing at all but that it must not be as per the tall
claim of PW-274.
c-4) During questions by the court PW-274 simply
shrugged his shoulders and blamed the insufficiency of
c-5) Shri KK Mysorewala was fully aware that bigwigs
were also present in the mob but he has not paid any heed
to this fact while investigating the crime.
c-6) While people were flocking into the streets, leaving
their households, Shri KK Mysorewala had reported to the
control room that “everything is okay (khairiyat hai –there
is peace and happiness in the Patiya area)”; it was like Nero
playing the fiddle when Rome was burning.
c-7) Near the Jawan Nagar wall, which was the entry
point to the Muslim area, no force was deployed by Shri KK
Mysorewala to prevent any untoward incident. The wall of
Jawan Nagar was demolished by the mob on that day due to
c-8) It seems that the entire situation on 28.02.2002
was underestimated and the information available was not
received by the IO, revealing the existence of a conspiracy.
He handled the entire situation without exhibiting any sin-
cerity, at least up to sunset.
c-9) The firing as stated by IO Shri KK Mysorewala, if it
had taken place in the amount mentioned by Shri Mysorewala
then the incidents alleged would never have even occurred,
even bursting of tear-gas shells would have had effect as a
result of which the gravity of the incidents could have been
reduced by a notable extent, but nothing like that hap-
pened, which shows that the situation was handled im-
properly. It is doubtful as far as the number of firings and
tear-gas shells is concerned.
c-9.1) It is an admitted position that many of the vic-
tims died in police firing. This is not natural death. PW-274
ought to have inquired into these deaths in police firing.
The relevant documents could have proved that the deaths
occurred in police firing, by firearms of the police, but this
has not been done as required under Section 174 of the
CrPC. This lacuna strengthens the possibility of private fir-
ing, which also goes with the admission in the [Tehelka]
sting operation, of A-18 having collected 23 firearms for
the riots. This collection was done on the intervening night
of 27.02.2002 and 28.02.2002.
c-10) The decision to impose curfew, as is depicted in
the entire facts and circumstances, was in fact taken at 10:30
a.m. but the effect of it, as it seems from the record, began
from 12:20 p.m.; this is also another clue which links the
insincere approach of the police in the incidents on the
c-11) It is an admitted position that no one was arrested
from the site; had even a single policeman been alert and
active, he could have at least arrested one person from the
mob and if all those who were at the bandobast points had
at least arrested one rioter then so many miscreants of the
violent mobs could have been arrested from the site itself.
The first IO did not have proper estimates and assess-
ment of the reactions which were quite likely.
c-12) There is nothing on record to show what steps
were taken on the messages received from the control room.
c-13) The investigation by Mr Mysorewala lacks care,
analysis, neutrality and microscopic collection of all rel-
To exhibit the kind of careless investigation carried out,
panchnama mark-134/65 should be seen, wherein the ad-
dress of panch No. 2 has been kept void. In the same way,
the amount of damages has also not been assessed but has
been kept void and the most painful part of the entire
panchnama [written and attested record] is that it is signed
by an ASI, Naroda police station, whose signature, ulti-
mately during the trial, nobody could identify. There are
many such statements, panchnamas, etc, below which the
designation, written as ASI, Naroda police station, is signed
in a manner that ultimately that person could not be found
out. All such carelessness resulted in loss of faith in the
police among the Muslim community and it is because of
such reasons that a perception was developed that the po-
lice were trying to favour the other side.
JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
c-14) Up to 08.03.2002, no substantial steps were taken
to arrest the accused named in the FIR.
c-15) A large number of miscreants from both sides could
have been rounded up; the indomitable mob was out to
destroy but the police were silent spectators which had given
an impression that the police were with the Hindus.
c-16) The panchnamas drawn by Mr Surela obviously un-
der instruction of the first IO were recorded without the
presence of a Forensic Science Laboratory [FSL] officer; had
that care been taken, the opinion of the FSL could have
c-17) It seems very clear that the police had not re-
sisted, opposed or hindered the violent mobs and that way,
indirectly, the men of the mob were facilitated because, in
the humble understanding of this court, the entry point to
the Muslim chawls near the gate of the ST workshop is such
where if the police had made a chain then the mob could
not have entered.
To that extent, the heart-burning of the victims because
the police had ignored the activities of the mobs seems to
be not wrong. This finding is also backed by the most glar-
ing and undisputed fact that all the victims went to the
rear of their Muslim chawls to save their lives on that day
and nobody came towards Noorani Masjid on the frontal
side. The chawls are situated in the direction from west to
east, almost in a straight line. Now the victims were com-
pelled to run towards the east. No one could come out to
the west. At the west end is the highway. Here the police
and even violent Hindu mobs were present. At the east end,
two Hindu societies are situated. The Muslim chawls lie in
between the national highway and the Hindu societies. As
comes on the record, on 28.02.2002 all requests made by
Muslims to the police for their protection failed hence their
losing trust in the police; the Muslims, being helpless, ran
away, leaving their chawls on account of the assault, to the
east. From the east came violent Hindu mobs hence the
Muslims, being in a sandwich position, died on account of
the fatal assault by Hindu mobs.
The police had rather witnessed inflammatory speeches
by the leaders and had witnessed the rioters running ram-
c-18) No cartridges have been found from the site, which
poses a question about the claim of firing during the depo-
sition of the first IO.
c-19) The inept and inefficient handling by the first IO
resulted in total lawlessness prevailing on that day which
resulted in mass murders which brought shame to the entire
nation and shame to the secular feature of the Constitution
The mobs were riotous mobs and it is quite probable that
in view of the communal disturbances which had taken place,
the PWs, being of the minority, might have been reluctant
to then name the accused. For this position, the first IO is
c-20) At the initial stage of investigation the opinion
of the FSL should have been obtained about the probability
of the occurrence below the water tank, at the U-shaped
corner between Gopinath and Gangotri societies.
c-21) On 28.02.2002 itself, and from 28.02.2002 to
08.03.2002, nothing had been done for the recovery of the
weapons used by the accused who were miscreants of the
c-22) Though the accused named in the FIR were not
absconding, nothing had been done by the first IO to arrest
c-23) Phone call records of the fire brigade could have
been obtained and the statements of personnel of the fire
brigade could have been recorded at the initial stage which
is always a crucial stage in the investigation of such mass
c-24) Had the accused been arrested at the site, they
could have been arrested with the weapons or the kerosene
tins in their hands. Had the police been active and sincere
on the day at the site of the offence then the occurrence
might not have taken place at all.
c-25) Shri KK Mysorewala states that he had persuaded
the Muslims to go inside their houses and had tried to dis-
perse mobs of both communities but then he is unable to
mention the name of any one person who was persuaded by
him. This makes the statement doubtful.
c-26) According to Mr Mysorewala and other police PWs,
the mob was of 10,000 to 15,000 persons but it is aston-
ishing that not even 10 out of the 10,000 were arrested.
Had even a single person been arrested, a weapon would
have come on the record. If every policeman had arrested or
caught hold of at least one person then the number of ac-
cused arrested would have equalled the number of police-
men present there.
Some of the police were armed; it seems that they have
not done anything at the site. If they had genuinely done
any exercises, the right signals would have been sent to the
c-27) The question remains as to why the stone-pelters
were not arrested then and there?
The police could have caught the members of the mob
on whom they wielded batons/sticks or, say, did a lathi
The normal mentality of a mob is to run away if firing is
done hence the fact of firing by the police is doubtful. It is
more so when no cartridge has been found from anywhere.
One policeman with a revolver is sufficient to spread ter-
ror among many persons.
The police could have cordoned off some of the members
of the mob.
c-28) Mr KK Mysorewala said that he ran after the driver of
a tankerandultimately caughthim–the saidMrKKMysorewala
did not catch anyone from the mobs; this poses a question
about his sincerity in maintaining law and order there.
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
c-29) The police photographer and videographer could
have been immediately called by Shri Mysorewala or in fact
should have been ordered to be present in advance.
c-30) The panchnama of the site of the offence was drawn
after many hours. This delay destroyed many evidences.
c-31) If the arrests or rounding up had been done there,
the panchnama, or memo, of the physical state of the ac-
cused could have come on the record. Mr KK Mysorewala
should have done a combing operation in the area on the
previous night as a precaution, to find out suspects on the
previous night of the occurrence itself.
c-32) The statements of all the injured should have been
taken in hospital but only a few were taken there.
c-33) More help from the SRP could have been taken; state-
ments of the SRP personnel on duty could have been taken.
c-34) As per the police, patrolling duty was assigned,
but during patrolling no one had been arrested which shows
that the surveillance and vigilance of the police were ex-
c-35) Test identification parades of the accused could
have been held.
c-36) Attempts to find the teeth and other remains of
the burnt bodies of the deceased persons from the ashes
could have been made which might have been helpful for
c-37) No effective preventive measures were taken by
Shri KK Mysorewala. At the site of the offence, none of the
accused had been arrested or cordoned off; no attempts at
recovery of any weapons had been made; no effective
panchnama of the site of the offence had been prepared;
nothing had been recovered from the site of the offence. An
FSL officer had not been called to the site of the offence in
spite of the fact that several persons were done away with
by severe burns in the offences and the properties of the
Muslims had been totally destroyed and damaged. No re-
covery of the muddamal [case property] from the arrested
accused had been attempted and even remand was not
sought for the accused arrested on 08.03.2002. No investi-
gation had been carried out to find out the source and con-
tainers for petrol, diesel, kerosene, etc. Statements of the
staff at nearby petrol pumps, taking stock registers, etc,
could have been helpful. The mob had committed theft of
gas cylinders from Uday Gas Agency but there was no inves-
tigation into the complaint by Uday Gas which could have
been linked with the present complaint. Had it been inves-
tigated, the complaint of the theft of gas cylinders would
have been placed along with the material collected by the
No attempt was made to find out from the doctors treat-
ing victims of firing about the bullets, whether any were
found in the bodies or not, and no care had been taken to
send the same to the FSL. Had this been done, the allega-
tions about private firing could have been ruled out if all
firing stood proved as police firing.
c-38) At the right time, which was certainly before
08.03.2002, no attempt had been made to arrange for test
c-39) No attempt had been made to call the fire brigade
when there was so much fire all around… If all these faults,
carelessness, inefficiency, ineptness, are collectively seen
then the record of the first investigating officer is not found
to be dependable, fair and absolutely reliable.
c-40) Mr KK Mysorewala had the opportunity of getting
eyewitness and first-hand accounts of the occurrence from
the victims but no such effort was made by Mr Mysorewala
nor is there any explanation for his failure.
c-41) Instead of taking preventive actions when the ten-
sion was rising on the morning of 28.02.2002, things were
allowed to develop till the unfortunate occurrence took
place. The first investigation was full of lapses, lacking quick-
ness, but then it was not to prejudice the accused hence
the accused cannot claim any benefit from it. This court
finds that it was a defective investigation but it was in no
way against the accused.
c-42) The PWs have seriously complained about the fact
that their statements were not recorded, their complaints were
not recorded at all or the contents were edited to not reflect
ances clarify that the record qua the complaints, etc is not
reliable. It is obvious that mischief would have been done in
recording the complaints and not only in drawing inquest
panchnamas or panchnamas of the site of the offence, etc.
c-43) Mr KK Mysorewala had done his duty properly only
when many Muslims were found dead at the water tank,
when he noticed that several Muslims had been burnt at the
site and when he took all of them for treatment at the Civil
Hospital. There is no hesitation to record that had he not
taken timely action, the death toll among Muslims could
have been higher. In fact, his investigation is a mockery of
the word “investigation” but taking a balanced view, though
prayed for by the victims, he should not be impleaded as
accused in the case.
d-1) Many of the gaping holes left by the first investi-
gating officer could have been filled in if the second inves-
tigating officer had taken the entire task seriously, keeping
the Constitution of India in front of his eyes (he was quite
a senior police officer then).
d-2) When the investigation was with the second IO as
a matter of fact, the victims had not been searched out
and those victims whose statements were recorded, were
not recorded after they came out of the grip of terror, for
which taking them to a psychologist and a safe environ-
ment was a must.
d-3) Phone call records of the fire brigade could have
been obtained and the statements of personnel of the fire
brigade could have been recorded even at this stage…
JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
d-4) The statements of all the injured should have been
taken in hospital but only a few were taken over there.
d-5) Probing the criminal antecedents of the accused,
background of the accused, recording statements of family
members of the accused, seizure of the houses of the ac-
cused, etc could have helped the investigation but had not
d-6) Investigation as to which inflammable substance
was thrown had not been done. It should have been inves-
tigated and the crime scene could have been reconstructed
and information about the kind of inflammable substance
could have been obtained.
d-7) All the complaints under investigation were tagged
or made part of ICR No. 100/02 wherein all the complain-
ants are Muslims.
d-8) It is difficult to make out why Mr PN Barot, the
second IO, recorded many statements of Hindus. The
conclusion is: he was too careless to even know that
the complainants and victims were Muslims and not
Hindus. It seems that he diverted his attention from
the pivotal point of the investigation which should have
been about the loss of lives of Muslims, demolition,
destruction and damage to the properties of Muslims
and collecting more evidence about the proposed ac-
cused. For reasons best known to him, he did not show
any anxiety to record the statements of Muslims at the
earliest. Rather, he recorded statements of Hindus and
wasted much of his precious time. Thus his investiga-
tion was not in the right direction. He ought to have
made all necessary attempts to give psychological coun-
selling to the Muslims to remove their fear psyche but
he did not even record their dying declarations in time.
This investigating officer had also not recovered any
weapons used in the crime.
d-9) Even the statements of the witnesses who had lost
their family members in this ghastly crime were not verified
d-10) There was no need for him to draw a panchnama
of the site of the offence but when he has chosen to do so,
it should not have been done without the FSL. He ought to
have called the FSL to the site.
d-11) This investigating officer had also not made any
attempts to arrest the five accused named in the FIR, not
held any test identification parades, not recorded the state-
ments of the injured, and totally ignored and neglected the
printed applications given by the victims residing at relief
camps even though many revealed serious cognisable of-
fences of murder, rape, etc.
d-12) Nothing in his testimony shows that he had ever
visited the relief camps where victims were residing. He had
not provided proper guidance to his assignee officer for ef-
fective investigation. He depended on his assignee officer
and did not do any vital part of the investigation with any
application of mind.
Hence even this investigating officer is not found to be
dependable and the record of his investigation also comes
under the shadow of doubt.
d-13) The VCD prepared by Shri PN Barot (IO-2) is the
best part of his investigation but it has no titles, no sign-
boards, it is without clarity about the places shot. Even
during the investigation by this IO, even though it was
possible to collect scientific evidence, the FSL was not called
for. No attempt was made to correct the blunders commit-
ted in the investigation led by Shri KK Mysorewala (IO-1).
The detail on the previous investigation has been narrated
above. It does not inspire confidence. It apparently shows
d-14) This court is therefore of the opinion that as a
matter of fact there is nothing on the record which is to-
tally dependable and reliable to get a complete outline of
the site of the offences at that point of time. The witnesses
had no reason to lie about the topography. But all of them
were not able to describe it satisfactorily. It is not neces-
sary to reconstruct the entire topography of the Muslim
chawls. Oral evidence of the injured witnesses, victims and
their relatives is obviously the best evidence. Secondly, dur-
ing the site visit certain factors have been noticed by this
court… which too have been kept in mind.
d-15) He himself has hardly done any active and result-
oriented investigation. It seems that both these investigat-
ing officers had not realised the gravity of the situation and
in fact did not take any steps to collect evidence of the
occurrence which was in clear violation of the constitu-
tional and human rights of the victims and which was ap-
parently the result of premeditated plans by the accused.
Both these investigating officers were either incompe-
tent or had no will to take any necessary steps to inspire
confidence in the minds of Muslims.
1) Shri SS Chudasama (from 01.05.2002 to 19.11.2002
with in between the charge being given to PI Shri Agrawat)
2) Shri HP Agrawat, PI (19.11.2002 to 05.04.2003)
3) Shri GS Singhal, ACP (06.04.2003 to 14.12.2006)
4) Shri HR Muliyana, ACP (15.12.2006 to 21.11.2007)
5) Shri VK Ambaliyar, ACP (21.11.2007 to 10.04.2008)
e-1) The third IO was Shri SS Chudasama of the Crime
Branch who took charge from 01.05.2002.
The investigation by both the first two investigating of-
ficers was very inept, inefficient, and for this reason and the
reason that Shri SS Chudasama had to complete much of the
investigation work within 34 days, as only 34 days were left
to file a charge sheet when he was handed over the investi-
gation, he too prepared a large team of several assignee
officers, including PIs and PSIs.
All these assignee officers went to the relief camp and
without doing any investigation of the crime, simply made
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
an announcement and recorded the statements of such per-
sons whosoever came in response to the said announce-
ment. Hence the entire investigation by the Crime Branch
was more or less a slipshod investigation.
e-2) The names of the accused revealed in the statement
of PW-149 were not taken forward and in fact no investiga-
tion seems to have been done on that. In the same way, the
statements of other witnesses revealed the names of certain
accused but the said statements had not been further inves-
tigated. No proper investigation had been done on the mobile
of A-38, nor had any recovery or discovery been effected.
e-3) In the charge sheet filed by this witness, those who
should have been shown as absconding were not shown to
be so. This witness has also recorded numerous statements
through his 18 assignee officers. The entire task of investi-
gation was done so mechanically that blunders were com-
mitted in recording the statements.
e-4) After taking charge of the investigation, the charge
sheet was filed within 34 days by this investigating officer.
e-5) Out of 621 statements filed and out of 390
panchnamas drawn within these 34 days, about 580 state-
ments and 379 panchnamas were practically completed by
assignee officers. No doubt they were his assignee officers
but looking to the time constraint, it is a matter of doubt
whether he had applied his mind to the task. Moreover, the
purpose of assigning the investigation to an officer of the
rank of ACP has been lost, as even the second investigating
officer had only depended on his assignee officer and did
nothing. These figures are only for the statements and
panchnamas which came on the record but there may be
e-6) Some of the statements have even been recorded in
the presence of police officials whose signatures nobody
was able to identify. At times even a constable has signed
hence the statement appears to have been recorded before a
constable. Thus though on paper the investigation was as-
signed to an ACP, considering the gravity of the allega-
tions, it in fact has gone into the hands of a constable.
Hence it cannot be accepted that the investigation was
proper, dependable, and was done with all sincerity and
sensitivity, which ought to have been attached to such an
e-7) In most of the cases, the IO has not met the vic-
tims. He has done the job of collecting statements and
panchnamas. Absence of malice, or mala fides, against the
victims is not the only criterion; the investigator should be
fair, unbiased, sensitive, serious, quick, effective and able
to logically connect the accused with the crime. Many of
these qualities were sadly lacking in all the three investi-
gating officers. But it is more highlighted in IO-3, during
whose tenure the majority of the investigation was carried
out. Thereafter, two other IOs who also belonged to the
Crime Branch were in charge of the investigation but no
progress was made…
e-8) It is true that the situation of curfew and the com-
munal riots continued for about 45 days and during this
time the police commissioner had assigned additional re-
sponsibilities to all the three above-referred investigating
officers. Even the latter IOs had additional responsibilities.
They might have all been busy with law and order problems
but the common factor was that the investigations by all
those who had investigated before the constitution of the
SIT were seriously lacking sensitivity, seriousness and sin-
cerity, which were very much required for the investigation
of such ghastly crimes. The insensitivity was of such a high
degree that it gave the Muslims the impression that the
investigation was directed against Muslims and the Mus-
lims were deeply concerned that the further investigation
to be carried out by the SIT under orders from the apex
court should not be handed over to two among those inves-
e-9) The picture was so gloomy and sad that the com-
plaints of the Muslims were not taken when the Muslims
gave the names of certain accused as perpetrators of crimes.
Muslims were even indirectly threatened not to file com-
plaints against certain accused. It seems that the entire
negligence, light attitude, carelessness in the investigation,
insensitive attitude towards victims and their agonies, etc,
was all surely aimed to see to it that at the end of the entire
investigation, if not all statements then at least those of
the majority of the witnesses would say that “they do not
know any member of the mob”. This cannot be accepted by
any prudent person, as it is impossible that the accused,
though they belonged to the same locality, were not iden-
tified by the victims of the crime. Be that as it may, the fact
remains that the investigation done before the SIT was con-
stituted does not inspire the confidence of the court as far
as fairness, faithfulness of the record, etc, is concerned.
This could be in an anxiety to see to it that certain bigwigs
should not be involved in the crime.
e-10) A few illustrations are given to show the quality
of investigation carried out by the previous investigating
a) PW-236 has deposed, and this court has reason to
believe it to be true, that on 12.03.2002 he went to Naroda
police station to register his complaint but since he had
given the name of A-37, the police refused to note down
his complaint and he was told that “You do not know
Mayaben.” “You better get the panchnama of your house
and do not indulge in such affairs otherwise you will face
difficulties.” Thereafter, this witness was left with no choice
but ultimately he made a second effort on 09.05.2002 when
in fact the panchnama of his house was drawn. At that time
also he went to Naroda police station but his complaint
was not taken down…
b) At the Naroda police station, as stated by the PW, the
witness was given the reply that: “the complaint would be
recorded at the Crime Branch”. The witness stated his griev-
JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
ances, including the names of the miscreants and their par-
ticipation, at the Crime Branch but only a selected part was
written down. This court has no reason to disbelieve this. It
is for the reason that A-37 stood too tall in public life and
in political life, in comparison with these very small labour
workers who had to struggle to make a living.
c) PW-104 was admittedly a rickshaw-driver in the year
2002 but his occupation was written as tailoring work. This
shows how carelessly and how without any involvement the
statements were written only to raise the number of state-
d) The son of PW-151, Shoaib, admittedly was 20 days
old in the year 2002 and obviously no statement could have
been recorded of this infant child of 20 days. But still, in
the material collected by the investigating agency, there is
even a statement of this 20-day-old child, showing his age
to be 20 years. This illustration shows that the statements
were also written in a self-styled manner.
Many PWs like PW-144, etc have stated that what was
stated by the witness was not written by the police and
that the police avoided writing down many facts.
e) Numerous statements appear, on the face of them, to
be only statements of damages. Hence it is clear that the
entire focus of some of the assignee officers was only on
recording the statements of damages, for which no fault
can be found with the witnesses. Using these statements,
the witnesses were put in an embarrassing position by the
cross-examiner, as if the witnesses had spoken lies.
Some of the PWs have clarified that when they were
trying to give details about the crime or violence, they
were advised by the police to interest themselves only in
getting compensation for loss or recovery of loss, noth-
ing beyond that.
f) In the statement of PW-176, the date of 11.02.2002
has been corrected with white ink and overwritten to read
as 11.06.2002 or 11.07.2002, as can be seen.
The attempt is only to focus on the fact that some parts
of the statements were reduced into writing by the police
and some parts of the statements were ignored though stated
by the witnesses and in most of the cases, creation of the
record was given more importance than discovery, search or
establishing the truth, which should be the real aim of any
investigation of crime.
g) Though according to the prosecution case, the pre-
vious investigation was done by either the investigating
officer himself or by his assignee officers, during the trial
it has been noticed that the statements were at times
signed by a constable, ASI, writer, and some even had
signatures of unknown persons. If this is not a mockery
of the words “investigation of crime” then what else can
it be named?
h) PW-136 is Mr Mansuri. It cannot be believed that even
though one is Mr Mansuri, one would have stated one’s sur-
name as Pathan to the police while the police were record-
ing a statement.
This witness, in para 21 of his testimony, clarifies that he
had not stated his surname as Pathan but since the person
whose statement was recorded prior to his statement was a
Mr Pathan, the police had mechanically written his surname
also as Pathan. The witness added that at that time the
police were in a great hurry and they wanted to complete
all the work of writing with great speed.
This illustration exhibits how, at times mechanically and
without any application of mind and only to increase the
bundles of statements, the police were doing their so-called
investigation. This illustration further exhibits that in many
cases, the police did not spend even a single minute on
hearing the name, surname, address, of the witness. Hence
it is out of the question that the police would have in-
vested any time in eliciting any information about the crime
or discovering the truth, etc.
i) Moreover, this witness, during the course of cross-ex-
amination, has given many voluntary statements stating that
the police did not hear out the witnesses and wrote the
statements according to will and whim.
This court is inclined to believe the version of the wit-
nesses to be true, for the reason that in the case of al-
most every witness, the police have repeated the same
tune whereby many witnesses appear to state that “they
do not know anyone in the mob; the mob was of about
15,000 to 20,000 persons”. Certain monotonous sentences
in the statements prompt that these are not statements
recorded genuinely as were spoken by the witnesses or in
the words of the witnesses.
Some of the witnesses have stated that the police only
asked for names and addresses and wrote the remaining
material themselves. In the facts and circumstances of
the case and in view of the number of statements written
in 34 days by the Crime Branch before filing of the charge
sheet, this part of the version of the witnesses seems to
be full of truth.
j) This court does not propose that in all the statements,
it must have so happened but at least in some of the state-
ments, the police seem to have adopted this shortcut.
k) In the statement dated 09.05.2002 of PW-143, the
date of occurrence has been shown to be 28.05.2002. This
could be a slip of the pen but then the fact remains that if
the statement had been read over to the PW, he would cer-
tainly have stated that the date of the incident was
28.02.2002 and not 28.05.2002.
l) Many witnesses like PW-162 have stated that the
police were not interested in noting down the details
that the Muslim victims were giving them about the
crimes. The police were not inclined to take on record
certain names. The court is not sitting in an ivory tower
and it is fully aware and conscious of the kind of devices
and tactics that are employed in hiding the names of the
real culprits, and more particularly when that real cul-
prit is a VIP, on the books.
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
m) PW-167 has stated in his testimony that he had re-
sided at Street No. 1, Hussain Nagar, for about 25 years. If
para 29 is seen, it becomes very clear that the slipshod
manner adopted by the previous investigators put the wit-
nesses in an embarrassing position through no fault of theirs.
It seems that the previous investigators had not bothered
to note that Jawahar Nagar and Jawan Nagar are one and
the same; and Saijpur Patiya was written in place of Naroda
Patiya, as these were all alternative words used by the pre-
vious investigators without even hearing the addresses that
the witnesses gave them for their houses. It seems that as a
shortcut, the entire area was referred to more as Jawan Nagar
or Jawahar Nagar or Jawan Nagar-na-Chhapra (roof) with-
out taking pains to show that there are different Muslim
chawls and in those chawls, Jawan Nagar and Hussain Nagar
are situated and both of them are different. It may be that
all such hush-ups were done by the previous investigators,
as at that time they faced an unprecedented burden of work
and they may not have had any intention of doing so. This
is merely to place on record what embarrassment the wit-
ness had to undergo when this was misused in open court.
The cross-examiner wanted to project the witness as a liar,
projecting that he even lied about his address.
n) PW-171 was fair enough to state before the SIT that
though in his statement on 12.05.2002 he had not given
the names of two more accused, he was surprised as to how
the two names, over and above the name of A-22, had been
inserted in his statement. The witness has fairly stated be-
fore the SIT that he had not seen the two accused named in
the statement dated 12.05.2002 who are over and above
Suresh Langda (A-22) and Guddu Chhara [d.].
o) The surname of PW-183 is admittedly Shaikh but, as is
clear at para 20, in spite of this fact, the surname of the
witness was written in the statement dated 13.05.2002 as
Saiyad, which the witness had learnt of when a summons
was served by this court to the witness to depose. This il-
lustration also highlights the lack of due care and the prob-
ability of the Crime Branch having adopted unhealthy
shortcuts to make a show that the investigation was done
in the speediest manner. It is true that there may have been
a slip of the pen as well but had the statement been read
over to the witness, he could at least have corrected the
slip. Hence it shows that the statements were never read
over to the witnesses and their names were also not written
properly and with due care.
p) PW-186 admittedly had been residing in Pandit-ni-
Chali for the last 33 years. But still however, in her state-
ment dated 12.05.2002, her address is shown as Kashiram-
Mama-ni-Chali, Saijpur Patiya. No witness would ever give a
wrong address. Hence it is clear that the address of some-
body else was written by the police in this statement.
Another interesting aspect is related to one more com-
mon aspect in the statement of every witness but somehow
it has been brought on record in this testimony. In para 20,
the witness has denied that she had stated before the po-
lice that “the reason for the incident was that on
27.02.2002, in the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra rail-
way station… were burnt alive”. Hearing and seeing the
witness, this court is convinced that the witness might not
have said what was written in the name of the witness. This
is focusing on the fact that most of the statements of the
previous investigation or most of the facts in the previous
statements are written by procuring some information and
then writing other information by imagination. The address
of the witness is written wrongly by the previous investiga-
tors, which again confirms that this is not a completely
reliable record and it is better not to take aid from the
previous investigation to understand the prosecution case.
q) PW-188 is an important witness who is an exception
among the kind of witnesses this case has. This man is one
of the rarest, who is educated and is working in a govern-
ment organisation, viz ST Corporation, whose communica-
tion skills, exposure and ability to present and to muster
courage would always be better than the usual kind of vic-
tims in this case.
Vide mark-C/1, at the instance of the defence, the printed
complaint-application which seems to have been filed by
this witness on 05.03.2002, has been brought on record as
has been noted below para 111 of the testimony of PW-
188. It is clear that this witness had clearly involved Jai
Bhavani [d.], Suresh (A-22), Pappu (not being tried), Bipin
(A-44), Manoj (A-41), in the crime. It is very surprising
that this complaint had not been given a crime register
number by the first investigator, Mr Mysorewala, the second
investigator, Mr Barot, and even this, the third investigator,
Crime Branch. It is more surprising that the loss-damage
analysis form produced by the prosecution is also incom-
plete. His statement was certainly recorded, which has to
be positively noted, but the complaint, which is the reac-
tion, the first in point of time, ought to have been properly
preserved and projected on record as a vital piece of evi-
dence, which has not been done.
e-11) PW-156 had mentioned his complaint in his state-
ment dated 08.05.2002 but the complaint is not on record.
It is an irony that neither is the complaint of this witness
who had lost numerous family members even traceable nor
were any attempts made to record his complaint.
e-12) It is very clear that until the date of occurrence,
no house numbers were given in the Muslim chawls but for
reasons best known to the police, as for giving numbers to
the houses of PWs, the police did so. In two different
panchnamas, two different house numbers are mentioned,
as some of the PWs had two houses in the area. This con-
fused the victims, without their fault, which was obviously
used in cross-examination.
e-13) If the case of PW-227 is seen then though he had
stated that he had seven family members, in the statement,
it is shown as five family members. The addresses and even
JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
surnames have been written wrong. It can safely be inferred
that no witness would give the wrong name, wrong address,
wrong surname and wrong number of a family member. Hence
this shows that the police were extremely negligent and
when they did not take care while noting down the non-
incriminating facts, it cannot be expected from the said
police that they would have written down all incriminating
facts correctly and as dictated by the witnesses.
e-14) The previous investigation agency had never taken
any injury seriously or else, even at the point of time when
the Crime Branch was recording the statements of different
PWs at the camp, they could still have obtained certificates
or recorded the statements of the treating doctors at the
e-15) This court has reason to believe that in the previ-
ous statements, the names of certain accused were not given,
according to the statement of the previous investigator made
before the court and the SIT. Hence these are not lapses by
the PWs. The statement showing a 20-day-old boy to be of
20 years is not to be held as indicative of the fact that the
witnesses were lying. On the contrary, it indicates that the
record kept by the police while recording the statements
was not correct, dependable, and that the entire work was
taken very lightly.
The mission seemed to be to make a show of collecting
more statements or making more statements after noting
names and addresses only and in some cases like this, not
even waiting to know the age, of 20 days or 20 years, and
preparing a self-styled statement of the infant aged 20 days,
showing him to be of 20 years.
e-16) How can it be believed that in all other cases
also, the statements reflect a genuine account of what the
witnesses spoke, as even many of the PWs have disowned
much of their so-called statements. Hence the only just
and proper remedy for the situation is to hold the record of
the statements of the previous investigation, even of IO-2,
to be not reliable.
e-17) In some of the statements, it seems that the de-
scription given by the PW was heard hurriedly and half-
heartedly and reduced into writing at leisure by the police.
It can safely be inferred that the police might not have
even invested time and waited for the PW to narrate his
entire tale. Therefore the say of some of the PWs, that they
had shown and stated the involvement of many accused but
the police had only written the names of some of them, is
absolutely probable and credible.
e-18) While opining, as above, on the record of all the
previous investigators, this court cannot forget to mention
the situation prevalent then; a number of cases of serious
offences were registered on the books and serious incidents
were happening every minute, a serious law and order threat
was faced by the police. It was practically impossible for
the police to elicit all detailed information from the vic-
tims at that time. It is obvious that in such a situation,
whatever the strength of the police force, it is found insuf-
ficient with regard to the workload. Hence it is improper
and unjust to impute to the police any malice or mala fides
or any bias against Muslims.
e-19) In this country, it is a matter of common experi-
ence that at times the police note what the police think it
proper to note to establish the prosecution case and the
police do not always record every such thing which comes
up in the narration of a particular incident. Hence the PWs
who state that even though they have stated something
before the police, the police did not record it sound very
e-20) It needs to be recorded here that it really appears
to be extremely clear that the Crime Branch had indeed not
recorded the statements of any of the PWs in the manner
stated by the PWs. In the facts and circumstances of the
case, it is extremely clear that the statements of different
PWs are not an accurate record of what the witnesses had
stated before the police.
e-21) It is not proper for the court to mechanically ac-
cept what the police officer recording the statement states,
by disbelieving what the person concerned suggests in that
e-22) Investigation as to which inflammable substance
was thrown had not been done. Had it been investigated
and the crime scene been reconstructed, information about
the kind of inflammable substance could have been obtained.
f-1) Given the clear, unambiguous and consistent ver-
sions of the witnesses against the previous investigation,
the substantive evidence before the court cannot be disbe-
lieved on the ground of so-called omissions or contradic-
tions with the previous statements and if the same is doubted
only on that ground, it would be an unjust approach.
f-2) It is a case of communal violence and false implica-
tion could be the motive is what the submission of the
defence is; in the facts and circumstances of the case, this
court is to separate truth from falsehood, which would serve
the purpose. Hence accepting it would create supremacy of
the police record over the evidence before the court and
specific facts against general philosophy; therefore it is held
that in this case, the causes of justice and equity demand
that one believe the versions of PWs before the court, keep-
ing in mind that the record of further investigation by the
SIT is to an extent reliable for all purposes, including omis-
sions and contradictions.
f-3) It was a panic situation for all, including the po-
lice. The police force is not trained to meet such a situa-
tion; the police force also had its own issues, including
facing a shortage of manpower, overpressure of work all the
while, which at times transforms human beings with vi-
brant hearts into machines, like the pressure faced by the
third investigating officer to file a charge sheet within a
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
stipulated time of only 34 days, when a major investigation
was to be completed, which is one such illustration.
f-4) Even after pondering over all the problems faced by
the police, the special facts do not fade, that the sincerity,
sensitivity and, more importantly, the desire to do a proper
investigation was missing in the previous investigators and
the attempt not to include the names of certain accused in
the crime was constant and common to all the previous
investigators, including all the IOs from the Crime Branch.
f-5) This weakness or overshadowing cannot be labelled
as participation of the police in the criminal conspiracy
hatched by the accused. Every weakness is not criminality.
The victims have tendered an application to implead the
police as accused, which is not found worthy to be enter-
f-6) It cannot be put out of mind that it is undisputed
that the first investigating officer had taken the injured to
hospital on the night of 28.02.2002 and that he reached
the horrifying scene at the water tank first of all and had
saved many Muslim lives.
f-7) The third investigating officer has dealt with the
record of C-Summaries, all of which have been produced
vide Exh-1776/1 to 1776/24, wherefrom many supporting
materials have been quoted in this judgement.
The first charge sheet was filed on time by IO-3; it is
during the tenure of this IO that help to Muslims was given
by issuing necessary yadis [memos] for post-mortem reports
of their deceased relatives, etc.
f-8) Everything that is not reliable is not necessarily done
with criminality within.
f-9) The judicial mind is aware that the possibility of
the victims being tongue- tied from fear cannot be ruled
out. However in that case also, the police record is not
genuine and is not free from fearful statements and hence is
not true and therefore also not dependable.
f-10) Giving undue importance to the statements of the
previous investigation would be as if the pre-trial state-
ments were decisive and conclusive rather than the evidence
before the court and that too when the accuracy of the pre-
trial statements or the pre-trial record is clearly and cer-
f-11) The effect of omission to name a culprit before
the police would vary from case to case and for appreciat-
ing the real significance thereof, the entire evidence in
the case and all the relevant circumstances should be taken
into consideration. In this case, while doing the said ex-
ercise, it is clear that the previous investigation is not
f-12) Mr MT Rana [former ACP, G Division] gives a plau-
sible explanation for the insufficiency in the investigation
and has rather established that the police could have done
many more things but had not done so.
f-13) The investigation carried out by all agencies other
than the SIT was most unsatisfactory and lacked all sincer-
ity and sensitivity. Hence it is more advisable not to de-
pend on it to decide the credibility of the PWs.
f-14) Upon appreciating various factors, this court is of
the firm opinion that the authenticity and accuracy of the
police record of the statements under Section 161 of the
CrPC in this case, as far as the previous investigation is con-
cerned, is not at all reliable.
f-15) This court is conscious of the situation then and is
not imputing malice to the irresponsible conduct of the
previous investigators for the reasons that:
1) A number of cases of serious offences were registered
on the day and serious law and order problems were faced
by the police.
2) It might not have been possible for the police to
make detailed inquiries of the witnesses and try to elicit
detailed information from them about the crimes.
3) The mental and physical condition of the injured wit-
nesses at the time makes it impossible to expect that they
would have given minute details of the occurrence, of their
suffering, agonies and even about all the perpetrators of
4) A proper probe may not have been possible, nor may
it have been possible to maintain an accurate record of what
the witnesses said.
5) Both the learned special PP as well as the learned
advocates for the defence have submitted that the previous
investigation was not proper and reliable and still the learned
advocates for the defence argued on omissions and contra-
dictions relying upon this.
6) The oral evidence of the witnesses establishes
that the statements were not read over to the con-
cerned witnesses. As revealed by the PWs, it seems that
one of the reasons could be that the then investigat-
ing agency had not written the statements of the wit-
nesses as were given.
7) The language of expression of the witnesses was ad-
mittedly not Gujarati hence the failure to read over the
statements is also one of the reasons for which an honest
and sincere record was not made. In reality, it seems that no
statement was properly recorded.
8) The victims, as can be seen from the record, were in a
state of shock, a terrorised condition, frightened, and had
almost accepted that there was no safety or security for
them and no one who would stand by them hence their
tongues were bound to be tied.
f-16) Moreover, if the police record becomes suspi-
cious or unreliable then in that case, it loses much of its
value and the court, in judging the case of a particular
accused, has to weigh the evidence given against him in
court, keeping in view the fact that the earlier state-
ments of the witnesses, as recorded by the police, is a
tainted record and has no great value as it otherwise
would have, in weighing the material on record against
each individual accused.
JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
f-17) No importance can be given to the so-called con-
tradictions and omissions when the authenticity or the re-
liability of the police record is itself in doubt.
In the case of Dana Yadav, the Supreme Court had occa-
sion to discuss: “there cannot be an inflexible rule that if a
witness did not name an accused before the police, his evi-
dence identifying the accused for the first time in court
cannot be relied upon.”
f-18) Failure to give particulars or names in such kind of
cases is not material from which adverse inference can be
f-19) The investigation suffered from lack of thorough-
ness, and quickness. As a result, statements of the witnesses
were recorded in a most haphazard manner, like in the case
of the team of IO-3 which had recorded numerous state-
ments within 34 days.
f-20) The contradictions in the statements of the con-
cerned eyewitnesses recorded by the previous investigating
agency as compared with the statements recorded by the
SIT should not be allowed to affect the credibility of those
witnesses because it is clear that all the previous investi-
gating officers did not faithfully record the statements of
f-21) Many matters of importance and significance to
the case were omitted. There are many weaknesses in the
previous investigation, all of which suggest that one hold
that this is not a reliable investigation.
f-22) One cannot reject reliable testimony before the
court with reference to that very record which this court
has condemned as unreliable.
f-23) The contention that the previous investigation, of
2002 and of the Crime Branch, was not efficiently done and
was defective and half-hearted has found favour with this
court but the defective investigation has not affected the
accused in any manner, which is an important criterion to
decide its effect on the accused, and more particularly to
grant the benefit of the doubt to the accused from that.
f-24) No doubt it was an elephantine task to investigate
these kind of crimes but then it cannot be believed that
senior investigating officers with experience do not know
what the priorities should be in such kind of investiga-
tions. It seems that they must have been overshadowed by
some element. Investigation should be free, fair and au-
tonomous but here it seems to have been overpowered by
f-25) The investigation done previously by investigat-
ing officers other than those of the SIT has mainly been
questioned during cross-examination. This court has already
held that the investigation is not reliable and since the
investigation is not reliable and the record kept by the po-
lice is not reliable, the same has already been looked at
with doubt but then their bona fides cannot be said to have
been challenged by any point raised in cross-examination.
What has only been proved is that the record kept by the
police by recording statements of witnesses is faulty. In the
light of this discussion, the judgement cited at Sr. No. 78
by the defence has no application to the facts of the present
case where statements are doubtful but other formalities
like drawing panchnamas, writing yadis, etc are not doubt-
ful hence it cannot be said that the bona fides of the IOs in
every aspect is doubtful.
f-26) The judgement in the matter of State of UP vs Ram
Sajivan (AIR 2010 SC 1738) has some similarity of facts.
The cited case arose from the conflict between upper castes
and lower castes, wherein the fear psyche and its impact
has been discussed, which is also applicable to the facts of
the case on hand. Head Note-A thereof is relevant, which
reads as under:
“(A) Penal Code (45 of 1860), S. 300 – Evidence Act (1
of 1872), S. 3 – Murder –Evidence – Witness – Unnatural
conduct – Multiple murder case – Witness one amongst per-
sons who were abducted, taken to river, killed and thrown
in river one by one – Witness, though seriously assaulted,
reaching riverbank alive – Failure of witness to give names
of accused in fear psyche – Not unnatural – Cannot be ground
to disbelieve testimony” (para 31).
At para 32, what is written is also applicable to the case
on hand: “In a genocide and massacre which was witnessed
by him, wherein all his seven close relatives, including his
wife, were killed one after the other in his presence and
were thrown in the river Ganga, his escaping death was a
miracle. Hiding and saving his life from a mighty cruel up-
per-caste group was a normal human instinct. Any reason-
able or prudent person would have behaved in the same
manner… Perhaps at the intervention of someone, the po-
lice seriously investigated the matter and he was brought
to his village, Lohari, under police protection. The delay in
giving his statement is fully explained and in the facts and
circumstances of the case, delay was quite natural. In a case
of this nature, the witnesses turning hostile is not unusual,
particularly in a scenario where upper-caste people have
created such a great fear psyche. The instinct of survival is
paramount and the witnesses cannot be faulted for not sup-
porting the prosecution version.”
f-27) At the end of the trial, the learned special PP, Mr
AP Desai, has emphasised that the entire trial, according to
the prosecution, is based on the investigation done by the
SIT. At this stage it also needs to be noted that the previ-
ous investigation was done by several different investigat-
ing officers of three different units. The peculiarity of all
the three units, which were changed one after the other, is
that at no point of time was the investigation done by an
individual but the entire unit had investigated.
f-28) When the first IO, Mr Mysorewala, was the investi-
gating officer, most of the police station officials were made
part of the investigation. Hence consistency of aim was not
maintained; each unit was trying to make more bundles of
paper without the aim of establishing the truth. The com-
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
mon factors of all the three officers/units were: all the three
failed to provide proper and effective leadership; all the
three did not have an aim of investigation except exhibit-
ing bundles of documents and exhibiting a show of inves-
tigation rather than going into the depth of the case; all
the three lacked sensitivity to the victims, which was
the prime need looking to the facts and circumstances of
the case; all the three never thought of the fact that the
victims and their relatives must be in the tremendous
grip of terrifying and horrifying visions of the crimes they
had witnessed and which were committed on that day
and it was impossible to make them free to speak the
truth unless they were psychologically counselled, and
more particularly counselled by experts, to cope with
the fear psyche in their minds.
f-29) In view of the above situation, all the previous
investigating units were not able to secure true, com-
plete, detailed and searching accounts of the commis-
sion of crimes on that day but then the notable point
was that none of these investigating units was noticed
to have any concern for it.
It is stated here three units whereof the first unit is
Naroda police station which investigated up to 08.03.2002.
Shri PN Barot and his assignee officers who investigated up
to 30.04.2002 were the second unit and then the third (Crime
Branch) unit wherein initially Shri SS Chudasama investi-
gated along with his big team of assignee officers, which is
inclusive of Shri Agrawat who was many a time in-charge
investigating officer, and thereafter, Shri Singhal, Shri
Muliyana, Shri Ambaliyar, etc, who all belonged to the Crime
Branch. So before the SIT took over, the investigation was
handed over from Naroda police station to Shri PN Barot
and from Shri PN Barot to the Crime Branch and then the
charge was taken over by the SIT.
f-30) It seems from the oral evidences that the ground,
or maidan, of Jawan Nagar, including the pit therein, was a
very big area which was not on a level with the road but
only a part of it was lower and as the defence has sug-
gested, even if one runs from one end to another, it takes
12 to 15 minutes (PW-52, para 77). It is therefore clear
that in such a large area, big mobs can easily be accommo-
dated. This maidan is just adjoining to the Muslim locality.
f-31) Moreover, the material collected by the investiga-
tion does not appear to be a complete and faithful record of
the case and it is, to the extent where the police deliber-
ately skipped writing the names of some of the miscreants
and avoided writing the statements as were spoken by the
f-32) In the opinion of this court, viewing the totality
of facts and circumstances of the case, it becomes amply
clear that the previous investigation was improper, lacked
sensitivity, and the grievances made by different prosecu-
tion witnesses, that the previous IOs and their assignee of-
ficers had not fairly recorded all those contentions and all
those names of the accused or miscreants given by the re-
spective prosecution witnesses, are worthy to be believed.
The reason is obviously that the previous investigating agency
was anxious to see to it that certain names and their par-
ticipation should not come on the books, even indirectly.
f-33) This court is convinced that the statements of the
witnesses were filtered while recording the same to keep
out of the record the names of certain miscreants whom the
prosecution witnesses were naming again and again. When
the prosecution witnesses had given the names of certain
persons, they were discouraged and even if they had in-
sisted then a filtered statement seems to have been recorded
or else it would not have happened that after the SIT initi-
ated further investigation, certain accused who were not
earlier arraigned have then been arraigned.
f-34) It seems just and proper, in consideration of the
entirety of the case on record, to opine that even if it is
accepted that in fact the PWs had not given the names of
the accused in the year 2002 in their statements before IOs-
1-3 then also, considering the fear and its impact, the panic
conditions, and keeping in mind that the victims must have
been in a totally numb condition, the record is in any case
not a true and faithful record.
f-35) In a nutshell, the previous investigation or, say,
the investigation until the SIT took over, is not depend-
able, not reliable, did not reflect a faithful record, was pre-
pared in panic conditions and under the impact of fear in
the minds and hearts of the victims, etc. Hence it cannot
be used to decide the credibility of the PWs. In the same
way, it cannot be used to decide omissions and contradic-
tions, to the extent where the PW does not accept or admit
it to be his statement. As far as the previous investigation
is concerned, the oral evidence of the PWs before the court
shall be given maximum weightage, as it is safe to act upon
the same in the facts and circumstances of the case.
f-36) After detailed discussion, as above, on the subject
of the previous investigation, it has been discussed and
decided as to what would be the impact of this previous
investigation on the appreciation of evidence and which
part of the previous investigation can be relied upon and
which part cannot be relied upon.
1) The investigation of any crime has several common
facets like recording the statements of witnesses, collec-
tion of evidence, including documents, certain ministerial
acts like drawing panchnamas, collecting scientific evi-
dences, etc. Normally, all the above is aimed to unearth the
truth and to investigate the crime. It rarely happens that
the investigating agency does not do it as a package.
2) Concentrating on the previous investigation in this
case, the following different compartments need discussion
to finally conclude the outcome of it:
JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
a) Recording the statements of the witnesses/victims of
b) Recording the statements of the eyewitnesses, police
officials and officers.
c) Doing ministerial acts like issuing yadis to seek per-
mission to draw inquest panchnamas, drawing the inquest
panchnamas, drawing the panchnamas for identification of
the dead bodies, preparation of necessary yadis to hold test
identification parades, collection of injury certificates, post-
mortem notes, post-arrest procedures, drawing panchnamas
of the sites of the offences, drawing panchnamas of dam-
ages suffered by the minority victims at their dwelling
houses, at their shops, and shooting to prepare VCDs of the
sites of the offences, etc.
a) It is almost undisputed that, including the police
witnesses, all the eyewitnesses have stated, as their first
reaction on 28.02.2002 itself (as is contended in the com-
plaint at Exh-1773 dated 28.02.2002 by PSI Shri Solanki),
that communal riots took place at Naroda; the Hindu lead-
ers of the riots were members of the BJP, VHP, RSS, Bajrang
Dal, etc. It is a matter of fact that when the riots took
place, the BJP was the ruling party in the state of Gujarat.
b) A-37 [Maya Kodnani] was the current MLA then, who
was the returned candidate from the Naroda constituency.
Some of the Muslim eyewitnesses who are victims and com-
plainants have testified to the presence of A-37, her active
leadership, ingredients for having conspired for the success
and execution of rioting on that day and provoking the
Hindus to make the riots most successful by violence against
Muslims and by attacking the Muslim religious place, viz
Noorani Masjid, etc.
c) No reasonable man can believe that when such wide-
scale rioting was ongoing in the constituency and when a
larger conspiracy was hatched to do away with Muslims,
designed with a view to settle the score for torching the kar
sevaks alive in the Godhra carnage, and when inhuman and
ghastly offences were committed which raised the death
toll among Muslims by up to 96 Muslims in a day, the MLA
of that constituency would remain aloof and away from the
entire occurrence though she was admittedly in the city. It
is not probable that when the time span of the occurrence
was 9:30 a.m. to at least 8:00 p.m. and even according to
the police complainant, it was from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00
p.m., the MLA would not come to the constituency at all.
The common experience of life says that whenever such oc-
currences take place, political leaders do take their stand.
c-1) In the instant case, A-37, being the MLA of the
area, would either support the Hindus, in which case the
Hindus, viz the miscreants, would be tremendously boosted,
which would add to their confidence and courage in doing
away with Muslims and ruining their property.
c-2) If, as according to the defence, she has not played
the role of provoking Hindus then there is nothing on record
to believe that she has played the role of pacifying agent.
She has not done anything to stop the massacre, she has
not even instructed police officers to stop lawlessness at
This para needs to be understood in the backdrop of the
fact that while for A-37, the cross-examination of PW-104
was conducted, it was suggested that A-37 was present at
the site and in fact she had recommended to the police to
see to it that no inconvenience was caused at Hussain Nagar,
Jawan Nagar, etc, as it was her constituency (paras 129 and
130 of the deposition of PW-104). This role of being a neu-
tral person or making attempts to pacify the situation was
not further pursued during cross-examination of other wit-
nesses but then the fact of such acceptance cannot be ig-
c-3) It is also not her case that she was neutral. If the
fire call occurrence register brought on record by the chief
fire officer is perused, it is clear that at about 2:15 p.m. she
did telephone the fire brigade for sending firefighters to
Sahyog Petrol Pump where an occurrence of fire took place.
Secondly, she had her own hospital in Naroda where a visit
by her would have been quite natural. Considering the above,
it cannot be believed that she would not have come to her
hospital at all and that she had telephoned the fire brigade
for the petrol pump at Naroda without being at Naroda.
c-4) Considering the above discussion, in fact, the prin-
ciple of probability would guide the court that the natural
conduct of A-37 would always be to be at the site which,
according to the prosecution witnesses, she was. In the
light of the appreciation of evidence, in the considered
opinion of this court and according to counselling on the
natural course of events and the principle of probability, it
can safely be held that the presence and participation of A-
37 and her close aides in the riots on that day is the truth,
which also stands corroborated by the sting operation
wherein A-18, 21 and 22 have all stated that A-37 was
present at the site and was boosting them all.
d) It is obvious that A-37 would not like to let her pres-
ence at the site be proved on the record of the case, as it
can safely be inferred that she must be aware of the conse-
quences of it. Like any other political leader, A-37 must
also have her followers, her propagators, her canvassers and
her aides; she would also take care to protect the skin of all
those accused who must indeed have been present with her
on the date of the occurrence.
e) This court is not sitting in an ivory tower and is con-
scious to the hard realities of the system. In the system,
normally, if the police officer knows the desire of a political
leader, the police would leave no stone unturned to give
colour to such desire.
f) This court firmly believes that the surrounding cir-
cumstances lead to only one inference: that in this case, to
respect and to give colour to the desire of A-37, the police
took all care to see to it that in all the statements of the
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
eyewitnesses recorded, there had to be a common recita-
tion to the effect that “I am injured, my family members
died or were injured, my house and property were all ruined
and looted by the mob of miscreants but I do not know any
one of them.” This was the safest way out, making a show
of investigation and still not booking certain VIPs as per
g) It is this inference which guides that the involvement
shown of certain accused, unless supported by the victims,
should not be taken on face value. Once the court smells
something fishy in the affair of recording the statements of
witnesses, the said statements should be appreciated keep-
ing in mind this background.
h) It is a matter of common experience that when such
a heinous crime takes place, which takes the lives of sev-
eral and that too in a communal riot, the police have to
register a case, the police have to make a show of some
investigation and the police would also do certain minis-
terial acts as have been mentioned at para 2(c) above. In
all such ministerial acts, favour or bias would play no role.
The role begins when incriminating material against indi-
viduals pours in. As far as the ministerial acts are con-
cerned, being a routine part of investigation, no schem-
ing would normally be done in that. It is for this reason
that it is reflected on the record through different PWs as
to how the statements were designed by the police to not
bring on the books several accused.
i) It is in this background that it needs to be noted
that numerous witnesses have voiced their very serious
grievances about polluting of their statements, tamper-
ing with their revelations, to shape and mould their state-
ments as was desired by the police. Noting the difference
between the status of A-37 and her group and the help-
less poor victims of this crime, this court is convinced
that these grievances have the ring of truth. It is for this
reason that this court is not ready to take any contradic-
tions or omissions from the statements before the previ-
j) Whatever has been testified by the victims of the crime
before the court shall only be tested through the state-
ments of the victims before the SIT because while the SIT
was investigating, no such hostile atmosphere was prevail-
ing against the victims of the crime, passage of time was
another solace and the order of the Supreme Court of India
to further investigate the crime was the ultimate strength.
k) The foregoing discussion shows that the presumption
of Section 114(e) of the Indian Evidence Act stands rebut-
ted by credible and positive evidence. This court is inclined
to believe the statements before the SIT and the testimony
of witnesses before the court and is not ready to look into
the alleged and self-styled statements recorded by the pre-
vious investigators, the aim of which was to conceal the
presence of A-37 and her aides and to exhibit the presence
of the accused whom the police wanted to project.
l) As is narrated, with regard to the official acts per-
formed by the police as mentioned at para 2(c) hereinabove,
no grievances have been voiced. There is no substantial chal-
lenge offered even by the defence, which would create a
reasonable doubt about the said part of the official acts of
the previous investigators and which can be termed to be a
rebuttal to the presumption under Section 114(e) of the
Indian Evidence Act. This court is however not taking this
part of the investigation, viz the ministerial acts, as truth-
ful except when the concerned PW owns it. The point being
articulated is: neither the PWs nor the defence have rebut-
ted the presumption of propriety of this part of the official
acts performed by the previous investigators, which also
proves that the victims have not complained falsely and
have only complained when they are genuinely aggrieved.
m) One more facet of the investigation (applicable to
the first IO only) is that the police witnesses have also
deposed as eyewitnesses present at the site of the offence.
Such police witnesses range from armed constable to DCP.
It is obvious that all of them would have to support the
stand they had taken right from the beginning. As is clear,
the stand they had taken was to conceal the presence of A-
37 and other bigwigs and to project the presence of certain
other accused. The police officials’ depositions have two
sides; one is the fact situation, the violence, the activities
of the mob, etc in general at the site, and the second side is
the presence and participation of specific accused. The first
side was unanimously testified by all police officials. The
second side was projected in a manner which creates lots of
reasonable doubt about the presence and participation of
the named accused. As discussed earlier, the entire aim of the
police was different than unearthing the truth and investi-
gating the crime. It is not safe and prudent to believe the
presence and participation of any accused if it is placed on
record by the police witnesses alone. In other words, when
the accused is involved in the offence only by the police, in
the facts and circumstances of this case, it is most imprudent
to act upon the said version. In such circumstances, the in-
terest of justice demands that one grant the benefit of the
doubt to the accused for whom there is no victim witness to
testify to his presence and participation.
4) One more situation needs to be dealt with here, wherein
the alleged statements of certain witnesses were recorded
by the previous investigators in the year 2002 but for one
or other reason, the SIT had not recorded any statements of
the said witnesses. It may be because the said witnesses
had not given any statement to the SIT. In the opinion of
this court, in every case where a witness has not given an
application to the SIT, it cannot be believed that he had no
grievances about the statements recorded in the year 2002.
The finding of this court even deals with the cases of such
witnesses, when the court has concluded that as far as re-
cording the statements of witnesses is concerned, the pre-
vious investigation is not reliable. It is therefore thought
JUDGEMENT: NARODA PATIYA CASE
proper that in such rare situations, the statements of the
year 2002 shall not be considered for the purpose of contradic-
tion or omission and that the conclusion that the previous
investigation is unreliable is equally applicable to such cases.
5) This court is convinced that the previous investiga-
tion is indeed not at all reliable as far as recording the
statements of witnesses, projecting the presence or absence
of the accused at the site and involvement of the accused
by police witnesses alone is concerned. It is not proved to
be a genuine and truthful version recorded by the police
beyond all reasonable doubt. The presumption of propriety
has been rebutted qua the compartments mentioned at para
2(a) and 2(b) hereinabove.
6) The ministerial official acts done by the police during
the investigation do enjoy the presumption of propriety
PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION: GUJARAT POLICE
except when effectively rebutted. This has a reference to
the compartment on official acts mentioned at para 2(c)
a) The statements of witnesses recorded by the previous
investigators are held to be unreliable as the presumption
of propriety of this part of the official acts of the previous
investigators is held to have been rebutted.
b) In case the accused is involved in the crime solely on
the testimony of the police eyewitnesses then such an ac-
cused shall be granted the benefit of the doubt.
c) All the official acts mentioned at para 2(c) hereinabove
enjoy the presumption of propriety until rebutted…