Godhara train burning case: In a latest development to the 2002 Godhra train burning case in Gujarat, the Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to eight convicts and declined the pleas of four others. According to sources, the bail was granted by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of DY Chandrachud.
These eight people were those who were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and their sentences were upheld by the trial court order. The top court has earlier denied the bail application of those accused persons whose death sentence awarded by the trial Court was commuted to life imprisonment by the Gujarat High Court.
The top court noted that the sentence of death which was awarded by the trial Court has been commuted to life imprisonment by the High Court and the State Government has preferred appeals against the order of the High Court. 11 accused were sentenced death penalty by the trial court. Later Gujarat HC commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.
What Gujarat govt contended?
Earlier on April 17, Gujarat Government reiterated that the convicts of the 2002 Godhra train coach-burning case were involved in serious offences as they pelted stones and bolted the door of the train and opposed their bail plea.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before the top court that it is just not a case of stone pelting but the accused had bolted the door of the train from outside and then pelted stones. However, the convicts' lawyers submitted that they have served 17 years in prison.
The court asked the advocates on record appearing on behalf of the petitioner and state counsel to sit together and prepare one consolidated chart for the convenience of the bench.
About Godhra train burning case
It should be mentioned here that the court was hearing the bail pleas of some convicts in the matter. The state government has also filed appeals against the Gujarat High Court order which has commuted the sentence of some convicts from the death penalty to life imprisonment.
Around 58 people lost their lives when some coaches of Sabarmati Express were torched at the Godhra Railway Station in Gujarat on February 27, 2002. The incident triggered large-scale riots in Gujarat. A local court in 2011 convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 people. 11 accused were sentenced death penalty while the rest were awarded life imprisonment.
(With ANI inputs)