SC grants bail to 2002 post-Godhra riot convicts

SC grants bail to 2002 post-Godhra riot convicts

The top court directed two batches of convicts to undertake some spiritual and social service during their stay at Indore and Jabalpur respectively

Supreme Court of India. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to a group of life term convicts in the 2002 post-Godhra riots at Ode in Anand, where 23 people were burnt alive, but directed them not to enter Gujarat until their appeal was finally decided by it.

The top court directed two batches of convicts to undertake some spiritual and social service during their stay at Indore and Jabalpur respectively.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant took into consideration facts that the convicts have been held guilty on the basis of deposition by one or two eye witnesses and secondly, they had been out on parole, furlough and bail earlier for a period between 150 and 550 days, without any report of misconduct, criminal activity or violation of conditions. The court also noted they had no criminal antecedents.

The convicts were represented by senior advocate P S Patwalia and advocate Astha Sharma and the Gujarat government by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. Their counsel asked for keeping them in Maharashtra, a plea which was rejected by the court.

The HC had convicted 14 people in the case of riots at Ode in Anand which had led to killings of 23 persons.