New Delhi: Rejecting claims that communal
feelings may once again raise its ugly head, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to transfer out of Gujarat, trial of 63 accused
accused of serial blasts across the country in 2008 in the
aftermath of the post-Godhra violence.
A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph in
a judgement said that except for mere apprehension of the
accused Jahaid Sheikh and others, there was little evidence to
show that the atmoshphere in Gujarat was surcharged to warrant
shifting of the trial outside the State.
56 people were killed across the country and several
injured in the 2008 serial bomb blasts in major cities like
Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.
The accused being tried in Gujarat had sought transfer
of the trial on the ground that police, prosecution and the
presiding judge were biased in favour of the the Hindus and
the atmoshphere was communally surcharged.
It was further argued by counsel Prashant Bhushan on
behalf of the accused that communal violence may raise its
ugly head once again if the trial was held in the State.
Rejecting the plea, Justice Kabir writing the
judgement said, "The offences with which the accused have been
charged are of a very serious nature, but except for an
apprehension that justice would not be properly administered,
there is little else to suggest that the charged atmosphere
which existed at the time when the offences were alleged to
have been committed, still exist and was likely to prejudice
the accused during the trial."