The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the death sentence of two convicts who were held guilty of killing 37 persons at the Akshardham temple in Gujarat in 2002.
Adam Bhai Suleman and Abdul Qayum Mufti have challenged the Gujarat High Court judgment upholding the trial court's verdict holding the duo responsible and giving them death sentence for the offence.
The petitioners are two of the three, who were sentenced to death by the trial and high court in the case.
The SC bench headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy also issued notices to the CBI and the Gujarat government on the duo's appeal.
A special POTA court had in July 2006 awarded death sentence to Suleman and Mufti for the killings. The Gujarat High Court had confirmed the sentence in June this year.
The petitioners allegedly belong to the banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.
In their plea before the apex court they have also sought for a CBI inquiry into the incident on the ground that the state police had botched up the case just as it did in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
"It is submitted that the investigating officer Shri Singhal who is the ACP never visited Jammu and Kashmir or Hyderabad which as per the prosecution was where the conspiracy was alleged to have been hatched. It is interesting to note that Shri D G Vanzara (DCP) who as per the prosecution went to J & K has not been examined by the prosecution who was even otherwise a material witness," the appeal said.
The petitioners submitted that the Gujarat police had falsely implicated them and till date was not able to establish the identity of the two fidayeens who were shot dead during the encounter.
(With PTI inputs)