SPP in Godhra riots case wants to quit

Special Public Prosecutor PR Agarwal accused the judge SC Srivastava, in Dipda Darwaja case, of "not hearing the arguments of the prosecution."

Ahmedabad: P R Agarwal, special public prosecutor in a post-Godhra riot case, has sought retirement
from the case, alleging non-cooperation from the designated

Agarwal, who is representing the state in Dipda Darwaja
riot case of 2002, along with his assistant Hansa Jain,
yesterday faxed a letter to SIT chief R K Raghavan saying he
wanted to retire from the case as the judge S C Srivastava
"was not hearing the arguments of the prosecution."
Eleven people from minority community were killed at
Dipda Darwaja area of Visnagar in Mehsana district in a riot
following Godhra train burning incident.

"I have sent a fax to Raghavan saying that I and my
assistant would like to retire from the case as the judge was
not ready to listen to our arguments. She has told us not to
forward arguments or be brief in submissions as she wants to
complete the hearing of the case," Agarwal told PTI over

Meanwhile, Agarwal also said an application was yesterday
submitted in the court by some of the victims, saying they
were not satisfied with the arguments made so far by him.
"They have sought that the SPP in the case should be changed,"
Agarwal added.

"Our primary reason for seeking retirement from the
case is non-cooperation of the judge," the 72-year-old counsel
The case is in the final stage of arguments after
assessment of more than 200 witnesses.

There are 85 accused in the case, including former BJP
MLA from Visnagar Prahlad Gosa, and former member of Visnagar
taluka panchayat Dahya Patel.

This is the fourth instance where a special public
prosecutor appointed for the riot cases, being probed by the
Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), has
decided to leave a case mid-way.

Previously, senior counsel R K Shah had retired from the
Gulbarg Society case whereas advocate Nigam Shukla was
relieved in the Naroda Gam case on his request.

Special prosecutor C S Desai, appointed in the Ode
village cases of Anand district, had also resigned citing
personal reasons.


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