From today, the Bombay high court is likely to start delivering its verdict in the appeals filed by nine convicts in Vadodara's Best Bakery case.
On Tuesday, four months after the court began hearing the appeals, the prosecution and the defence concluded their arguments in the case.
The case dates back to March 1, 2002, when a mob attacked Best Bakery at Hanuman Tekdi in Vadodara, and killed 14. The incident took place against the backdrop of the riots triggered by the burning of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra.
On February 24, 2005, the Best Bakery incident became the first riot-related case to be moved out of Gujarat. A special court in Mumbai, set up following Supreme Court orders, convicted nine of the 21 accused in the case and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
The convicts - Rajubhai Baria, Pankaj Gosai, Bahadursinh Chauhan, Jagdish Rajput, Dinesh Rajbhar, Shanabhai Baria, Shailesh Tadvi, Suresh Vasava and Sanjay Thakker - appealed against the trial court's decision, claiming they were falsely implicated.
Prosecutors Manjula Rao and Jayesh Yagnik contended that witnesses had identified the accused who entered the building and had given specific accounts of their respective roles in the attack.
Defence counsel Adhik Shirodkar, meanwhile, countered that the bakery had been allegedly torched by a mob and the accused could not have entered it.