The Gujarat High Court today granted bail to former BJP MLA Prahlad Gosa and an ex-local body member, who were arrested in connection with a post-Godhra riots case.
Hearing the case, Justice R H Shukla granted bail to Gosa and Dahyabhai Patel, who were arrested in August after some of the witnesses accused them of instigating riots in Dipda Darwaja locality of Visnagar town in Mehsana, where 11 people were burnt to death during the 2002 riots.
Gosa and Patel's counsel Yogesh Lakhani had submitted that the witnesses had named the clients only during the trial in the case early this year.
"Since 2002, statement of the witnesses have been recorded over four time, but they did not name Gosa and Patel," he had said. Lakhani further said that these witnesses had not named his clients even before the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was entrusted probe in the case by Supreme Court.
According to Lakhani, the court today agreed with the arguments made by him and granted bail to Gosa and Patel.
At the time of riots, Gosa was a sitting BJP MLA from Visnagar, while Patel was member of Visnagar Taluka Panchayat. The duo were denied bail in August by the special court conducting the trial in the Dipda Darwaja case. In February, the special court conducting trial had ordered that Gosa and Patel be made accused in the Dipda Darwaja case.
The order was issued after an eye witness Mohamad Iqbal Baloch requested the court to arraign the duo as accused in the case, as they had instigated the mob against minority members which led to riots. The duo had challenged the special court's order in the Gujarat High Court, which rejected their plea. Gosa and Patel further challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court, which also refused to set aside the special court order while turning down their request of not making them an accused in the case.