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Supreme Court Denies Bail to Godhra Train Burning Case Convicts, Citing Seriousness of Incident

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      14 August, 2023 06:46 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Denies Bail to Godhra Train Burning Case Convicts, Citing Seriousness of Incident

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a bail plea filed by three life term convicts in the 2002 Godhra train burning case due to their specific roles, while also noting that this was a serious incident and not related to an isolated death of an individual.

"The incident is also a very serious incident. It is not an isolated death of one person," a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud said, agreeing to list the appeal filed by the convicts before a bench.

"We are not inclined at this stage to grant bail," the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said, after hearing Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on behalf of the Gujarat government and senior advocate Sanjay Hegde for the accused.

Mehta said the charges against the three accused were not just stone pelting. One accused was found guilty of being the main conspirator who also actively participated in the act of damaging the bogie of the train.

Hegde said the convicts have remained in custody over 17 years in jail. He said the accusations against the two were just stone pelting while one of them was accused of robbing the passengers of ornaments.

"Having regards to the specific role attributed to them, at this stage we are not willing to enlarge these individuals on bail. This will not affect their right of appeal," the bench said.

The bench said it would prefer to list the appeal for consideration as the same can't remain pending indefinitely.

The Supreme Court had on April 21, granted bail to eight convicts, undergoing life term in the case, saying they had been in jail for about 17-18 years and the hearing on their appeal before it will take time.

The court, however, had refused similar relief to four others, awarded death penalty, in the case.

On its part, the Gujarat government had opposed the plea, saying, “This is the rarest of rare cases where 59 people, including women and children, were burnt alive.”

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