Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has acquitted 12 people convicted for murder, rioting and unlawful assembly by a trial court in connection with post- Godhra riot case in Ghodasar village of Kheda district, where 14 Muslims were killed.
In all, 15 people had been convicted by a trial court in Nadiad in December 2003. Out of them, 12 were handed life imprisonment, while three others were given two years of rigorous imprisonment.
On Friday, the division bench of Justices A L Dave and N V Anjaria acquitted the 12 people, who were earlier handed life term, for lack of evidence.
This was among the first post-Godhra riots cases in which the accused had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
While the prison term of three others got over, their appeals were pending in the High Court. The 12 people with life imprisonment are in jail.
According to case details, 14 Muslims were hacked to death in an open field on March 3, 2002 in Ghodasar village while fleeing an armed mob that was chasing them following rumours that some members of the minority community had killed three persons.
Police officers were able to recover bodies of 13 victims. They had also found the burnt remains of one body.
After being convicted, all the 15 accused had appealed against the verdict of the trial court.