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Gujarat government opposes Godhra train burning convicts' bail pleas

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Gujarat government opposes Godhra train burning convicts bail pleas
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The Indian Express photo.

New Delhi: Objecting to the bail pleas of some convicts of the 2022 Godhra train burning incident, the Gujarat government told the Supreme Court that the convicts were not mere stone pelters and their actions prevented people from escaping from the burning coach, PTI reported.

The Gujarat government's submission before the top court comes while Bilkis Bano, the Gujarat riot victim, moved the Supreme Court against the same state government's premature en masse release of 11 convicts of the riots. The eleven had murdered her family, including her three-year-old daughter and gang-raped her without even mattering she was pregnant.

In the incident of February 27, 2002, 59 people were killed after the S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, later triggering riots in the state.

The bail pleas came before a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha on Friday. The court asked the state to specify the individual roles of the convicts and observed that the accused bail pleas of those who were accused of stone pelting could be considered as they have already spent 17-18 years in jail.

Then, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state of Gujarat, told the court that because of their stone pelting, people could not escape from the burning coach.

"It is not a case of mere stone pelting," he argued.

However, he told the bench that their appeals against the October 2017 verdict of the Gujarat High Court, upholding their conviction, could be listed for hearing. He would study the individual roles of these convicts and inform the bench about the same, Mehta said.

Further hearing on the matter got posted on December 15.

The Gujarat High Court High Court had reduced the death sentence of the 11 convicts to a life term in the train burning case. It had upheld the life sentence awarded to 20 other convicts in the case.

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TAGS:Supreme Courtmurderbail pleaGujarat riots 2002Gujarat governmentgang-rapeGujarat High CourtconvictsBilkis Bano CaseGodhra trains burning
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