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Gulburg riot victims for change in judge presiding trial

india Updated: Aug 14, 2010 21:56 IST

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Gulburg society riot victims have approached Supreme Court demanding Judge B U Joshi, presiding over the trial in their case, be changed.

"An appeal has been filed in the Supreme Court on Friday for transfer of case from the special court here headed by BU Joshi to some other judge by the victims. It will come up for hearing in next few days," Teesta Setelvad head of NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace told newsmen today.

Earlier, Gujarat High Court had rejected the plea of the riot victims to transfer the case saying that special court was appointed on the instructions of the Supreme Court.

One of the riot victims, Imtiyaz Pathan and seven others had approached Gujarat High Court alleging that the designated Judge B U Joshi presiding over the trial in the Gulburg society case was biased against victims and was favouring the accused.

"We are not hopeful of getting justice in Gujarat, so we have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court," Pathan had said in the petition.

But their plea of transfer of their case from special court set up on directions from Supreme Court was turned down by the Gujarat High Court on July 29.

A division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari of Gujarat High Court while rejecting the plea observed that "alleged apprehension of bias for seeking transfer of the cases cannot be termed as reasonable".

As many as 69 persons, including ex-MP Ehsan Jaffery were killed during riots in Gulburg society on February 28, 2002.

Setalwad also released the data of phone call records of state government officials, police officials and officials of the chief minister's office of February 27 and 28, 2002 stating that it was indicative of their involvement in the conspiracy.

She also said accused in riot cases of Naroda Patia like Jaideep Patel and Maya Kodnani were also in touch with the officials of the chief minister's office and then minister of state for home Gordhan Zadafia.

Sakila Bano, a victim of Naroda Patiya who was present at the press interaction said, "I do not see any hope of getting justice in Gujarat, so I have decided to take my struggle to higher court."

Eight members of Bano's family were killed in the post-Godhra riots in 2002 in Naroda Patia area of the city.