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2002 riots: SIT to challenge bail given to Maya Kodnani in SC

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 08:44

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Ahmedabad: The Special Investigating Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court to prosecute the 2002 Gujarat communal riots case will on Thursday appeal against the bail granted to state`s former minister Maya Kodnani in the apex court.

Kodnanai, convicted in the 2002 Naroda Patia riot case, was on Wednesday granted regular bail by the High Court.

The former BJP legislator is undergoing treatment at the Ahmedabad civil hospital for acute depression.

Earlier in February this year, Kodnani was given temporary bail by the same court. However, later in the same month she was denied extension of the release period.

In her bail plea, Kodnani had submitted that her appeal challenging the judgement of special court is pending before the Gujarat High Court since December 2012. The appeal is not likely to be heard in near future, considering this she should be released on bail, the plea said.

Kodnani further contended that the Naroda Patia special trial court had relied upon the testimonies of many of the witnesses, which is not considerable as per the provisions of the law.

She had also given details of her deteriorating health as another reason to seek bail, her counsel Mitesh Amin said.

Importantly, the issue of Kodnani bail had come up for hearing before a single judge bench of Justice Anant Dave on July 15. However, the bench recused itself from hearing the plea. As the case came up for hearing, the judge said, "not before me," without giving any reasons.

Later the case was posted for hearing before another bench, which gave the verdict on July 30.

A Special SIT court had in August 2012 awarded life imprisonment to then BJP MLA Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 29 other convicts for the 2002 riots at Naroda Patia in which 97 people were brutally killed.

The court had named Kodnani, a minister in former Gujarat Chief Minster Narendra Modi`s Cabinet, as "a kingpin of riots" in Naroda area and sentenced her to 26-year life imprisonment.

Kodnani, who was MLA of Naroda at the time of riots, was made Minister of State for Women and Child Development in 2007. She had to resign after her arrest in the case in March 2009.

The three-time legislator is the first woman to be convicted in a post-Godhra riots case.

The Naroda Patia massacre had taken place a day after the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002.

First Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 08:44

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