New Delhi, 21 April (Hindustan Times). The Supreme Court has granted bail to 8 people convicted of killing 59 people by setting a train coach on fire in Godhra in 2002. All of them were sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court and the High Court. The court granted him bail on Thursday on the basis of spending 17-18 years in jail. The court has refused bail to 4 who were sentenced to death by the lower court.
During the hearing on February 20, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, opposed the demand for bail, terming the crime as heinous. The Supreme Court had directed that the names of the convicts, their role in the crime and the time spent in jail should be filed in the court. During the hearing on January 30, it was said on behalf of the convicts that their only fault was that they only pelted stones, but they are facing life imprisonment. On this Tushar Mehta had said that not only stone pelting, these people had also set fire to the bogie of the train.
During the earlier hearing, Mehta had assured the court that he would examine the role of each of the convicts to see if some of them could indeed be released on bail. On 15 December 2022, the court granted bail to Farooq, convicted in the case, on the basis of being in jail for 17 years.
In fact, on February 27, 2002, the S-6 bogie of Sabarmati Express was set on fire at Godhra railway station, in which 58 people died. These kar sevaks were returning from Ayodhya by Sabarmati Express. After this incident there were communal riots in Gujarat. In this case, the trial court had convicted 31 people in 2011. Of these, 11 were sentenced to death and 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment. In this case, 63 other accused were acquitted.
In 2017, the Gujarat High Court commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts awarded death sentence by the trial court to life imprisonment and upheld the life sentence awarded to 20.
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