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No need of foreign interference in Gujarat riot cases

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on social activist Teesta Setalvad for raising the issue of post-Godhra riots of Gujarat with foreign organisations saying that it can take care of the cases and no interference is required from overseas human rights groups.

"We don`t appreciate that other organisations interfere in our functioning. We can take care of (them) ourselves and cannot get guided by others. It`s a direct interference in our functioning. We don`t appreciate it," a special bench headed by Justice D K Jain said.

The court was anguished that the NGO, Centre for Justice and Peace (CJP), headed by Setalvad approached Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights raising the issue of protection of witnesses in riots cases.

"You seem to have more faith in foreign organisations than this court. It seems that witnesses would be protected by these organisations," the bench remarked adding that if such letters are written then the court would pass the order without hearing the contentions of the CJP.

"If you send such letters then we would hear the amicus curie and pass the order (without hearing you)," the court said adding, "All the cases are being monitored by us, we don`t like any correspondence of her with foreign agencies."

The issue was brought before the Bench by senior advocate Harish Salve who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the Gujarat riot cases of 2002.

The NGO`s counsel Kamini Jaiswal pleaded that no such letters would be sent to other organisations in future.

She had earlier said that the NGO had forwarded a copy of the October 7, 2010, letter addressed to Special Investigation Team chairman R K Raghavan to the international body with which the NHRC is also associated.

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