Sardarpura case: HC admits plea against acquittal of 31
Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Friday admitted a petition of the state government challenging acquittal of 31 accused by a trial court in the 2002 Sardarpura riot case.
The division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Paresh Upadhyay admitted the appeal and scheduled further hearing of the case on May 3.
The court has also issued bailable warrant against the 31 accused and told them to avail bail on personal bond of Rs 5,000 each.
In November last year, a special court in Mehsana had awarded life imprisonment to the 31 people in the Sardarpuara riot case and acquitted 42 others.
The incident had taken place on March 1, 2002 after the Godhra train burning incident, where 33 people of a minority community were burnt to death.
"The state government's appeal challenging acquittal of 31 people in this case was admitted today in the high court," special prosecutor for SIT JM Panchal said.
"The trial court had acquitted 11 saying that they were not involved in the case, while 31 others were acquitted on the grounds of benefit of doubt. The state government has challenged the acquittal of these 31 people," Panchal said.
The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team, which had probed the case, has also filed an application seeking leave to prepare appeal against the trial court's order of acquittal of 31 people on benefit of doubt.
Meanwhile, victims of the case have also filed appeal against acquittal in the case.
The 31 people convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the case have also approached the court against the verdict of the trial court.