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Trial can be completed in a year: SIT chief

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Welcoming the Supreme Court’s ruling on setting up fast track courts to go into the 2002 Gujarat riot cases, chairman of the Special Investigation Team R.K. Raghavan has expressed confidence that the trial will be completed in about a year’s time.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Raghavan, however, said the court had not fixed any time frame to complete the trial. “If the trial is held on a day-to-day basis, as suggested by the Supreme Court, it would not be difficult to conclude the cases in about a year’s time. It is an approximate time frame, but it could be slightly less or more.”

Mr. Raghavan said he was “happy” that the Supreme Court’s directions would pave the way for early completion of the long-pending Gujarat cases of 2002. “There was a stay on these cases for a long time. Only recently, the stay was vacated. The SIT will be playing an active role till the trial is completed.” He said he was glad that the Supreme Court had reposed its trust in the SIT headed by him.

Mr. Raghavan said the SIT would engage itself in monitoring the day-to-day affairs of the trial process. “The SIT will be playing a role in the selection of the Public Prosecutors by the Gujarat government and ensuring proper security to the witnesses.”

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