The Gujarat High Court on Thursday dismissed the application of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT), to grant a stay on its order granting bail to former minister Maya Kodnani in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case.
The plea was dismissed because the SIT got late in filing the application and by the time it went to court officials for filing the stay application the bail order was already executed.
The SIT lawyers asked the court about their application at around 1 pm, which was not listed for the hearing on board. The lawyer informed the court that they had approached the sections officer, responsible for admission of applications, who said that it was too late.
Following this, the division bench comprising justices V M Sahai and R P Dholaria dismissed the application, saying that it has come after the order was executed. “Order dated July 30, 2014 (which granted bail to Kodnani) was executed prior to the SIT moving the application. Therefore, the application filed by the probing agency becomes infructuous and is dismissed,” the court said.
Senior SIT counsel Prashant Desai said that this is not the end of the road and it can challenge the order in the Supreme Court. However, he said that the decision in this regard has to be taken by the state government.
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Kodnani, the former minister for women and child development in the then Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government, was granted bail on Wednesday by the division bench on medical grounds as well as merit of case.
She is the first convict to get bail in the Naroda Patiya riots case. She is also the first woman to be convicted in one of the post-Godhra riots cases.
In August 2012, a special SIT court awarded life imprisonment to then BJP MLA Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 29 others for their role in the riots at Naroda Patiya, in which 97 people were killed.
59-year-old Maya Kodnani, a gynaecologist, was released from the Sabarmati Central Jail on Thursday. She had been admitted to civil hospital for treatment from where she was taken back to the jail by the officials. After due procedure, she was released and taken back to the hospital. Sources said that she will be shifted to a private hospital and is likely to move to Mumbai for treatment. Kodnani, who was named as “kingpin” in the riot case, was previously on two occasions granted temporary bail after she was detected with tuberculosis and was suffering from depression.