11 get life for Gulberg massacre

11 get life for Gulberg massacre

11 get life for Gulberg massacre
A special court here on Friday sentenced 11 of the 24 convicts in the Gulberg massacre case to life imprisonment and awarded a 10-year prison sentence to another.

The remaining 12 convicts were granted seven years in jail. The judgment came a fortnight after the 24 accused were convicted for their role in the 2002 massacre in which 69 people, including former MP Ehsan Jaffri, were killed at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad.

Special SIT Court Judge P B Desai, who pronounced the punishment on Friday, called the day of the killings “the darkest day in the history of civil society”. He, however, rejected the call by the prosecution to treat the case as “rarest of rare” and the demand for granting capital punishment to the convicts. The judge also ruled that the quantum of sentence should run concurrently and not consecutively.

Judge Desai said he would desist from writing in the verdict that those sentenced to life be kept in prison till their last breath in view of the good conduct of the convicts while on bail and in jail during the trial.

The court, however, said it has decided to award imprisonment for life without any time frame to the 11 who have been convicted of murder, while requesting the state not to use its power to remit the sentence after 14 years of imprisonment.

“CrPC provisions give power to the state to remit the sentence after a 14-year jail sentence. Section 433-A imposes some restriction on that power. In case the state does not exercise power to remit the sentence, life imprisonment will mean that it is till death,” the court said. “I cannot add beyond what has been prescribed under Section 302. It is not necessary for a state to exercise power to remit sentence.  The state may not exercise power of remittance,” the judge said.
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