Court summons Amit Shah in 2002 riot case as witness of Kodnani

Last Updated 12 September 2017, 11:01 IST
BJP national president Amit Shah has been ordered to appear as a witness for Maya Kodnani, a former BJP leader and a minister in the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, convicted of involvement in one of the biggest massacres of Gujarat riots in 2002.

The special court on Tuesday said that Shah must appear on Monday, either in person or through his lawyer to testify on the alibi of Kodnani that she was not present at the venue of riots that saw killings of 11 persons from minority community at Naroda Gam in 2002.

“The court has issued a summons for September 18. The order was passed on a request of Maya Kodnani,” Amit Patel, lawyer of Kodnani, said.

Kodnani had moved an application before the trial court in April last seeking testimony from BJP chief as one of her defence witnesses. She had claimed that his testimony was crucial to prove her alibi that at that time of riots she was with him about 10 km away from the place, initially at Gujarat Assembly and then at the hospital she ran. The court acceded to her request then.

While the others have been cross-examined, only the BJP chief’s testimony remained. The trial court, on request of Kodnani on Monday last, gave her time till Friday to get Amit Shah to testify.

However, Kodnani again sought 10 more days stating that she was unable to determine the address at which summons for the same could be served to Shah. The court, however, asked her to serve the summons by September 11 and get him to appear by Tuesday, September 12. The court had stated that if she is unable to do so, it could consider defence witness examinations to be closed.

However, again on Tuesday, Kodnani said that she could not ascertain the address at which Amit Shah be served summons. The court has now intervened and issued a direct summons to Amit Shah to appear before it.

Kodnani has been convicted of murder in 2012 and sentenced to 28 years in prison for her role in Naroda Patiya riots, which is situated next to Naroda Gam. Naroda Patiya riots had seen killings of over 100 persons from minority community on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

Kodnani was granted bail in this case in 2014 on health grounds. It is accordingly crucial for her to get BJP chief to testify before the trial court in Naroda Gam case.

(Published 12 September 2017, 11:01 IST)

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