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Gujarat riots: Court allows Kodnani to call Amit Shah, 13 others as witnesses

She wants to prove that she was not present at the scene of crime.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2017 07:47 IST
PTI, Ahmedabad
Gujarat riot case,2002 Gujarat riots,Maya Kodnani
Former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Maya Kodnani wants to prove that she was not present at the scene of crime.(AP file photo)

A special court hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case in Ahmedabad on Wednesday allowed an application filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Maya Kodnani seeking to call BJP president Amit Shah and 13 others as defence witnesses to prove she was not present at the scene of the incident.

Judge PB Desai said summons should be issued to these witnesses “at appropriate and relevant stage of trial”.

The judge also said “some witnesses can be dropped at a later stage if there is a possibility of repetition of their testimonies, but however, in absence of any objections (by prosecution) and while recognising the right of the accused to examine defence witnesses, I am of the opinion that the number of witnesses sought to be examined is neither unreasonable nor unjustified.”

Kodnani, sentenced to 28 years in jail in the Naroda Patiya riot case, is out on bail at present.

She wants to prove that she was not present at the scene of crime.

Her application said she wanted Shah’s examination to prove that she had met him in the assembly in Gandhinagar and then at Sola Civil hospital in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident which led to riots, as the bodies of Godhra train incident victims were brought there.

Afterwards, she went to her nursing home, and then to the main civil hospital in Asarwa area of the city, Kodnani claimed.

To prove this, she wanted to summon 13 other persons, including former BJP MLA Amrish Patel, then superintendent of civil hospital Dr Anil Chaddha, staff of her hospital and a man whose child was allegedly born at her hospital that day.

The Naroda Gam massacre was one of the nine major riot cases from Gujarat investigated by a special investigation team.

Eleven people belonging to the minority community were killed at Naroda Gam. A total of 82 people are facing trial.

Kodnani later became state minister for women and child development during chief minister Narendra Modi’s government.

First Published: Apr 13, 2017 07:37 IST