NEW DELHI: Seventeen convicts in the 2002 Sardarpura post-Godhra riots were on Tuesday granted bail by the Supreme Court which directed the convicts to relocate to Madhya Pradesh and do community service. 33 Muslims were burnt alive in Sardarpura town in Vijapur taluka. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant divided the convicts in two groups and said one group would move out of Gujarat and stay at Indore while the other group of convicts will have to relocate themselves to Jabalpur. The bench barred the men from entering Gujarat.
The convicts, who were handed down life sentence in the Sardarpura riots case, have appealed against the Gujarat High Court order convicting them. The court said that all the convicts will have to undertake community services for six hours a week besides reporting to the local police station on a weekly basis as bail conditions.
The Supreme Court has directed the District Legal Services Authorities at Indore and Jabalpur to ensure that the convicts observe bail conditions diligently. And also directed District Legal Services Authorities to help the convicts in finding suitable employment for earning their livelihood. The Madhya Pradesh State Legal Service Authority will have to file a report after three months stating as to whether the convicts have complied with the conditions or not, the apex court said.
Bhopal tragedy: Judge recuses
Supreme Court Judge Justice S Ravindra Bhat recused himself from hearing the Centre’s plea seeking ` 7,844 crore as additional fund from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation for giving compensation to the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. A five-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra adjourned the hearing till Wednesday after Justice Bhat’s move.
The convicts will have to undertake community services for six hours a week besides reporting to the local police