Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightJudge known for...

Judge known for granting highest death penalties appointed as Gujarat’s Director of Prosecution

Judge known for granting highest death penalties appointed as Gujarat’s Director of Prosecution

A retired session judge, known for granting death penalties to 38 individuals in connection with the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast case and for presiding over the prosecution of retired DGP R B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, has been appointed as Gujarat's Director of Prosecution.

Ambalal R Patel gained national attention in 2022 when he sentenced 38 individuals to death, the highest in India. His appointment comes nearly a year after his retirement from the judiciary.

In 2023, he denied the application of Mumbai-based activist Teesta Setalvad, who sought discharge from the trial concerning the alleged fabrication of evidence related to the 2002 Godhra riots cases.

Patel also presided over the prosecution of former state Director General of Police R B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. These cases involved accusations of conspiracy to frame Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others in the Gujarat riots of 2002.

While Setalvad and Sreekumar were granted bail by higher courts, Bhatt remains in judicial custody, serving a 20-year sentence in an unrelated case.

The 2008 Ahmedabad blast case, in which Patel handed down the death sentences, remains pending in the state high court. The appeals from those sentenced to death, along with the Gujarat government's applications to confirm these sentences, are still under consideration.

According to legal provisions, a death sentence issued by a sessions court must be confirmed by a high court before it can be executed. The high court also cannot confirm the sentence or acquit the individuals before the appeal period has expired or the appeal has been resolved.

In addition to the death sentences, Patel also sentenced 11 other individuals to life imprisonment in the 2008 blast case. As the new Director of Prosecution, Patel has the authority to intervene in ongoing cases, expedite proceedings, and provide opinions on the filing of appeals.

This role, which had been dormant for several years, was revived in 2019 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. The revival aimed to increase the conviction rate in criminal cases, as per the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. A committee comprising senior officers from the state Home, Legal, and Legislation departments was formed to oversee this initiative.

The Directorate of Prosecution in Gujarat drew attention in January 2022 when the Supreme Court criticized it for not appealing a high court order that granted bail to an accused in the brutal murder of a Dalit man. The apex court highlighted the failure of the state and the Director of Prosecution in fulfilling their duties in this instance.

Show Full Article
TAGS:Teesta SetalvadAmbalal R PatelDirector of ProsecutionAhmedabad serial blast
Next Story