New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to grant bail to one of the accused in the Gulberg Society massacre case of 2002 Gujarat riots in which former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri and 67 others were killed, saying it has asked the lower court to conclude trial in three months.
"We have requested the sessions court to conclude the trial within three months. We cannot grant you regular bail at this stage," a bench comprising Chief Justice HL Dattu and justices Madan B Lokur and AK Sikri said.
Sandip alias Sonu Ramprakash Mehra, one of the undertrials who was out on interim bail after remaining in jail for almost 12 years, had moved the court seeking regular bail till the conclusion of the trial in the case.
"Fifty-eight persons are on regular bail in the case. Poor person like me is still in jail. Grant me bail till the trial concludes," Sandip, who appeared in person, said. The plea was, however, rejected.
Earlier, the court had asked the trial court in Ahmedabad to wind up within three months the proceedings in Gulberg Society massacre case and had expressed concern over the accused languishing in jail due to delay in trial.
It had also asked the Special Investigating Team (SIT), which probed the nine riots cases including the Gulberg Society matter, to expeditiously proceed.
The bench, however, had asked the sessions court not to pronounce the judgement without its prior permission.
Former CBI director RK Raghvan, who is heading the SIT, had said that it would be difficult to wind up the proceedings within three months.
The bench had then asked him to proceed expeditiously and allowed him to approach the court in case it is not completed within three months.
Earlier, the bench had said it was considering passing some order as letters have also been received from some of the accused that they are in jail for almost 10 years.
The SIT had given a clean chit to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The apex court has been monitoring nine sensitive cases after the National Human Rights Commission and various NGOs termed the investigation into these as shoddy and unreliable.
The cases relate the riots in Gulberg Society, Ode, Sardarpura, Narodao Gaon, Naroda Patya, Machipith, Tarsali, Pandarwada and Raghavapura.
An estimated 2,000 people were killed in post-Godhra riots in 2002.
The SIT had submitted its final report in the apex court in March 2012 regarding Ahmedabad's Gulberg Society riots case giving a clean chit to Modi and others in the 2002 riot cases.