Ahmedabad, Aug 3: Justice Samir Dave of the Gujarat High Court on Thursday recused himself from hearing a plea filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad seeking quashing of an FIR filed against her by the Ahmedabad crime branch for allegedly fabricating evidence in the 2002 riots cases.
When the matter came up for hearing, Justice Dave said, "Not before me."
Now, the chief justice of the high court will allot the case to a new judge.
Last month, a sessions court had rejected Setalvad's discharge plea in the case, even as the Supreme Court granted her bail after the Gujarat High Court denied relief to her.
She then moved a plea seeking quashing of the FIR in the Gujarat High Court.
Setalvad and two others - former state Director General of Police R B Sreekumar and former Indian Police Service officer Sanjiv Bhatt - were arrested by the city crime branch in June 2022 on charges of forgery and fabricating evidence with the intent to implicate the Gujarat government functionaries in the 2002 riots cases.
A first information report (FIR) was registered against them after the Supreme Court last month dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots.
Setalvad was booked under sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), among others.
The state government, during a hearing in the sessions court earlier, had alleged that Setalvad drafted affidavits in the names of victims to implicate innocent persons including the then chief minister (now Prime Minister Narendra Modi), senior officers, and ministers.
Zakia Jafri's plea alleged a "larger conspiracy" behind the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat involving the then chief minister Narendra Modi. The court upheld the SIT's clean chit to Modi and 63 others.
In its judgment, the Supreme Court observed, "At the end of the day, it appears to us that a coalesced effort of the disgruntled officials of the State of Gujarat along with others was to create sensation by making revelations which were false to their own knowledge."
"The falsity of their claims had been fully exposed by the SIT after a thorough investigation...As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process need to be in the dock and proceed in accordance with law."
Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people killed at Ahmedabad's Gulberg Society during violence on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning that claimed 59 lives.
The riots that it triggered killed 1,044 people, mostly Muslims. Giving details, the Central government informed the Rajya Sabha in May 2005 that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in the post-Godhra riots.
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New Delhi, Dec 11: The Centre on Monday defended the change in the National Medical Commission's logo to feature Dhanwantari -- the physicians of the Gods in Hindu mythology -- instead of a secular emblem, saying it was part of India's heritage and everyone must feel proud of it.
When the TMC's Santanu Sen raised the issue of the change in the logo through a Zero Hour mention in the Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Dhanwantari is a symbol of Indian medical science.
"(It was) already a part of the (Commission's) logo and just some colour has been added and nothing more," he said.
"This is India's heritage. I feel we should feel proud (about it)," he added.
The minister said the logo is designed by taking inspiration from the country's heritage.
"This is a symbol of medical science ... someone who had done so much research in medical science. We have used the photo with no other intention."
The Medical Council of India (MCI) logo was adopted in 1934 after the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, was enacted.
The law defined medicine as "modern scientific medicine and includes surgery and obstetrics" and the logo used was based on the international symbol for medicine -- the staff of Aesclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing.
The logo also featured a snake wound around the staff.
While there has been no official announcement of a change in the Commission's logo, a black and white logo with the depiction of Dhanwantari at the centre reportedly appeared in December 2022. The colourised version appeared a couple of months later.
Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Sen demanded the restoration of the National Medical Commission's previous logo.
He said the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 was repealed in 2020 despite objections from different corners of society and the medical fraternity.
"The National Medical Commission came into force from 25th September 2020, repealing the 64-year-old Indian Medical Council Act, 1956," he added.
Earlier it was termed as "western medicine", then it became "medicine" and finally it was termed as "modern medicine", Sen said and added that the logo of modern medicine is the staff of Aesclepius.
"And there was no need and there was no permissible condition, so far as the National Medical Commission is concerned, that this logo can be changed. But, unfortunately, we have seen in the recent past, I don't know (if it is) because of government instruction or by the National Medical Commission itself, they have changed the logo and they have brought a photograph of Dhanwantari in the logo," Sen said.
The "change of logo was absolutely not needed. It symbolises one particular religion," he added.
The National Medical Commission, he said, regulates medical curriculum and sanctions new medical colleges.
"Its function is not to promote any particular religion. Even the Ayush department did not change its logo but the National Medical Commission has," the TMC MP said.
"It is against the basic oath which doctors take after passing MBBS. They take the oath that we will treat each and every patient irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. We are not bound to treat one particular religion," he said.
The change of logo, he said, was against the basic essence of the Indian Constitution which, through Article 25 and 26 after the 42nd Amendment in 1976, states that India is a secular country.
"And we should promote the dovetailing of religion," Sen said and demanded that the National Medical Commission immediately restore the previous logo that did not symbolise any particular religion.