The Gujarat High Court on Thursday dismissed an application of former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, a convict in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, to extend her three-month interim bail by further 180 days. The term for the interim bail, granted by a division bench of HC on medical grounds, expires on February 14.
Finding her grounds for extension “not reasonable”, a division bench — comprising Justices Jayant Patel and R D Kothari — dismissed Kodnani’s application while holding that she could get treatment for the ailment sought by her in government hospital.
Special Public Prosecutor for the case, Alpesh Kogje, said that the court rejected the application on the ground that the treatment for the ailment, for which the applicant wanted extension of bail, was available in government hospital. Kogje added that the court was also not satisfied with the documents produced by the applicant in support of her application.
On November 12, a division bench of HC — comprising Justices K S Jhaveri and K J Thaker — had granted Kodnani interim bail for three months on medical grounds. Her lawyer had argued that she was diagnosed with tuberculosis of intestine, besides depression and heart ailment.
Kodnani, one of the 32 persons convicted in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, is also facing a criminal trial in the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre Case. In Naroda Patiya, 97 persons were killed whereas in Naroda Gam, 11 persons were killed by mobs on February 28, 2002. In Naroda Patiya case, she has been awarded life imprisonment.
The Modi government had earlier given sanction to file an appeal in HC to seek death sentence for Kodnani and others. However, subsequently, it refused to grant sanction to the SIT. Kodnani was an MLA during 2002 Gujarat riots. She was made Minister of State for Women and Child Development in 2007. However, Kodnani had to resign after she was arrested in the two riots cases.
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