Godhra Case: The Gujarat government on Monday told the Supreme Court that death sentence should be awarded to 11 convicts, which were commuted to life imprisonment by the High Court in the Godhra train burning case. In fact, the Supreme Court is hearing the bail of several accused in the Godhra incident.
Bench asked for details chart
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala fixed the date for the next hearing after three weeks. The court has asked the lawyers of both the sides to file a chart. The chart has been asked to include details such as the sentence awarded to the accused and the period spent in jail so far.
Solicitor General said – we will put pressure
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, told the bench, “We will seriously press for execution of the convicts, whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment (by the Gujarat High Court).”
‘It is one of the rarest of rare cases where 59 people including women and children were burnt alive. The bogie was locked from outside by the accused. 59 people including women and children died.
Riots were triggered by the Godhra incident
Let us tell you that on February 27, 2002, 59 people died when the S-6 coach of the train caught fire in Godhra, Gujarat, triggering riots in the state. 11 convicts were awarded death sentence by the trial court and 20 others were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case. Mehta said the High Court upheld a total of 31 convictions in the case and commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment.
The government reached the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court
Mehta said that we have come to the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court. The apex court has so far granted bail to two convicts in the case. Seven other bail applications are pending in the case.
The bench noted that a large number of bail applications have been filed before it in this matter and said that it has been agreed that AOR (Advocate-on-Record) on behalf of the applicants will have a hearing with Advocate Swati Ghildial, Standing Counsel for Gujarat. Will prepare comprehensive chart.
Notice issued to the state government
Earlier, on January 30, the Supreme Court had sought response from the Gujarat government on the bail pleas of some of the life convicts in the case. The court has issued notice to the state government on the bail pleas of Abdul Rahman Dhantia alias Kankatto, Abdul Sattar Ibrahim Gaddi Asla and others.
The state government, on the other hand, said that it was not just a case of stone pelting. The culprits had set a bogie of the Sabarmati Express on fire. The Solicitor General had said that some people are saying that his role was just stone pelting. But when you lock a box from outside, set it on fire and then pelt stones, it is not just stone pelting.
Last year the accused got bail
The apex court had on December 15 last year granted bail to Farooq, who is serving life term in the case, saying that he has been in prison for 17 years. Several others, including Farooq, were convicted for pelting stones at a coach of the Sabarmati Express.
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