Kodnani gets bail in riots case

Kodnani gets bail in riots case

Gujarat ex-minister was sentenced to 28 years' jail

Kodnani gets bail in riots case

Former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani, one of the prime accused who was sentenced to 28 years’ imprisonment in the Naroda Patiya riots of 2002, was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday. 

A division bench of Justices V N Sahai and R P Dholeria accepted Kodnani’s bail plea on health grounds. Earlier in February, she was given temporary bail by the high court.

However, later in the same month, she was denied extension of the release period.  Kodnani was Minister of State for Women and Child Development in the Narendra Modi government in 2007. She resigned from her post after her arrest in the case in March 2009. 

A special SIT court convicted Kodnani, Bajrang Dal’s Babu Bajrangi and 29 others for the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Naroda Patiya, which led to the killing of 97 people. 

Speaking to reporters, Kodnani’s lawyer Mitesh Amin said, “The high court has granted a regular bail to Kodnani following complaints of her deteriorating health conditions. It considered both the merit of the case as well as her medical conditions during the pendency of her appeal.”
 Amin said she was suffering from severe depression and had developed suicidal tendencies, which was brought to the notice of the court. Her bail application also said she was suffering from heart and kidney ailments.

It may be recalled that her bail plea had earlier come up before single bench judge Justice Anant Dave on July 15, when he had recused himself from hearing the plea. Justice Dave, however, did not cite any particular reason.