Ahmedabad: Some of the accused in the 2002
Gulburg Society riot case, pleading for speedy completion of
trial, on Tuesday alleged before a special court that while
politicians involved in the case were out on bail, they were
languishing in jail for years.
A group of accused, frustrated with the long court
proceedings and stay on pronouncement of judgement in the case
imposed by the Supreme Court, made an oral representation
before Special Judge B J Dhandha here.
The court had today met to hear an application by some of
the victims seeking direction for the special investigation
team (SIT) probing the case to verify the contents of compact
disc (CD) containing phone call records of police officers,
political leaders and some of the accused.
The matter was however adjourned till April 19.
After the court was dismissed for the day, Judge Dhandha
reconvened it following a request by some of the accused, who
have been in jail for long.
One of the accused alleged, "While politicians are out
on bail, we are languishing in jail since years."
While the accused was talking, another accused patted on
his back indicating him to stop speaking about politicians
involved in the case.
Prime accused in the case include VHP leader Atul Vaidya,
BJP leaders Pradeep Parmar, ex-municipal councillor Chunilal
Prajapati and sitting councillor Bipin Patel, who are out on
Out of the total 66 accused, nine are still in jail while
others including politicians are out on bail.
Another accused in the case while pleading for speedy
completion of trial, told the court that he was sorry about
what had happened over nine years ago.
One Sandeep Ramprakash, who has been in jail since 2002
without ever being given bail said, "We are very sorry for
what happened. But it has been over nine years now, how long
shall we wait for the trial to get over."
Another accused Narayan Channelwala said, "Our families
are ruined. How long can we wait for the trial to get over.
The lengthy trial has forced our families in huge debts."
The group of accused also requested the court to speed up
trial in the case. They further requested that since the trial
was taking a long time they be granted bail or be let out on
parole to meet their families.
Judge Dhandha after hearing the accused said that he had
his limitations with regard to judgement in the case, which
had been stayed by the Supreme Court.
With regard to bail, the Judge said it would only be
decided on the basis of merit. For those accused whose bail
applications have been rejected by the special court, the
Judge said they need to approach the High Court.
He also asked them to get proper legal advice from their
lawyers before deciding on any further move.