Naroda Patiya case: Will Kodnani, Bajrangi get death?
Ahmedabad: Former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, convicted on Wednesday in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case in Gujarat, will know their quantum of punishment on Friday.
Additional Principal Judge Jyotsna Yagnik, while convicting 32 people and acquitting 29 in the case, had said that the sentencing will be done on Friday.
BJP MLA Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi were found guilty under Sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of IPC in the post-Godhra riots case in which 97 people belonging to the minority community were killed.
The 57-year-old MLA broke down in court as Additional Principal Judge Jyotsna Yagnik read out her verdict.
Kodnani was arrested in March 2009 when she was the minister following a probe by Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team and had to resign from the post.
She became an MLA for the first time in 1998 and won elections twice later from that constituency. She was made Minister of State for Women and Child Development in the Modi government in 2007, possibly at the behest of L K Advani. She was the first Sindhi leader to become a minister in Gujarat since the state was founded in 1960.
During the arguments on the quantum of sentence in the special court today, Special Public Prosecutor Akhil Desai sought death sentence for all the convicts.
After hearing all the sides, judge Yagnik reserved the order on quantum of punishment for August 31.
Desai argued that it is a fit case to be termed as "rarest of rare" and the court should award capital punishment to the convicts.
If the court takes another view, then it should at least award a minimum of 20 years of imprisonment to each of the convicts, he submitted.
Opposing his contention, defence advocate Niranjan Tikani appealed to the court to show leniency towards the convicts, keeping in mind their family background and financial condition.
Tikani also opposed the demand of capital punishment for Kodnani and submitted that her husband has been operated upon recently and is not keeping good health, while her son is studying in the US.