Naroda Patiya case convictions debatable, says Supreme Court; grants bail to 4
The Supreme Court has granted bail to four convicts in Naroda Patiya case of 2002 when 97 people were killed during riots in Gujarat.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar on Tuesday granted bail to four convicts on the ground that the High Court verdict of conviction was “debatable” and that they should be released on bail since their appeal hearing would take time. One convict was granted temporary bail for his daughter’s wedding.
The Gujarat High Court had last year convicted Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and others, but acquitted former BJP minister Maya Kodnani for want of evidence in the case.
Those granted bail by the top court on Tuesday were Umeshbhai Bharwad, Rajkumar, Harshad and Prakashbhai Rathod.
The killings in the Ahmedabad locality was one of the worst attacks of the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
On February 28 that year, 97 people from the Muslim community — mostly migrants from Karnataka and Maharashtra — were killed by a mob. The locality with nearly 800 houses was set on fire.