Godhra train burning convicts not eligible for early release: Gujarat govt

Opposing their appeal, Mehta also told the bench that the case fell into the category of “rarest of rare” since it involved the death of 59 people.

Published: 21st February 2023 07:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2023 07:39 AM   |  A+A-

A policeman looks over a burnt coach and belongings of Hindu activists at Godhra station, on 28 February 2002. (File Photo | AFP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Gujarat government on Monday told the Supreme Court that convicts in the 2002 Godhra train burning case were not eligible for premature release. The state’s submission was made by SG Tushar Mehta before the bench of CJI DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala.

“Convicts do not qualify for premature release as TADA provisions had been invoked against them,” said SG Mehta pursuant to CJI’s query whether the convicts are eligible under the state’s premature release policy. Opposing their appeal, Mehta also told the bench that the case fell into the category of “rarest of rare” since it involved the death of 59 people.

“This is the case where 59 people were burnt alive. It is consistent that the (train) bogey was locked from the outside. Those who died included women and children. See the first convict who has challenged the sentence. He was identified in Test Identification Parade. He was hurling stones with the motive of not letting passengers come out” said Mehta.

“The second,” said Mehta, his role is also clear. In the third convict’s case, the distinction is that a deadly weapon was found on him. The fourth one played an active role in hatching the conspiracy. He purchased petrol, stored petrol, and used it for the purpose of burning. We will be pressing that this is the rarest of rare cases- 59 people died,” Mehta further said.

Considering Mehta’s contention, the bench while directing the applicants and state‘s counsel to prepare a chart of the accused with relevant details posted the pleas after three weeks. The court’s order was passed while dealing with a plea against the Gujarat HC’s 2017 verdict that had appraised the conviction of the convicts. The HC had recently commuted the death sentences.


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