SC rejects plea for aid to acquitted in terror case

SC rejects plea for aid to acquitted in terror case

'Can we lay down rule to compensate all acquitted?'

SC rejects plea for aid to acquitted in terror case

 The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a plea for granting compensation to six men who were held guilty by a trial court in the 2002 Akshardham temple terror attack case.

 The men were later acquitted of the charges by the apex court in May 2014.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi expressed its reservation over allowing such pleas, saying an acquittal can be ordered on several grounds in a case since the guilt has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

On their acquittal by the Supreme Court in May 2014, the accused filed petitions, demanding compensation for their wrongful prosecution and for protracted trial, forcing them to remain in jail.

“Most of the appeals travel to this court because it is the final appellate court. An appellate court can either uphold conviction or set it aside. Can we lay down a principle to compensate everybody who gets acquitted by this court,” the bench told senior counsel K T S Tulsi, representing the petitioners.

Tulsi, on his part, pointed out in the present case, the apex court had censured Gujarat police for framing these “innocent” people. He sought exemplary compensation for wrongful jail.

‘Many reasons’

As the bench maintained that the acquittal could be granted due to various reasons and refused to delve into the distinction between a terror case and any other criminal case, Tulsi preferred to withdraw the petition.

The six convicts, three of whom were on the death row, had been convicted of participating in the criminal conspiracy to retaliate the post-Godhra communal riots by a terror strike at the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar.

In the attack, two fidayeen sprayed bullets indiscriminately from their Ak-56 rifles and used hand grenades to kill 33 devotees and tourists and injured another 86 before being killed by NSG commandos on September 25, 2002.

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