A group of accused in the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case on Friday moved an application before the special designated court, saying 300 witnesses were yet to be examined. The application relied upon newspaper reports quoting the Supreme Court appointed-Special Investigation Team’s briefing to the apex court last month.
The special judge, while stating that “he can’t rely on newspaper clippings”, asked the SIT lawyers to check these reports.
SIT lawyers, however, maintained that they have examined all the witnesses and the case was listed at the stage of final arguments. Defence lawyer C K Shah, who moved the application said, “We moved the application as the SIT has told the apex court that it was yet to examine 300 witnesses.”
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The SC last month had given six months to the special court to conclude trial in the case, which is the ninth and last case relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the SIT.
There are 82 accused in this case, who are alleged to have killed 11 people from the minority community on February 28, 2002. Among the accused are former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment in the Naroda Patiya massacre.
On the other hand, the defence lawyer submitted an application stating that one of the accused Dinesh Ramanlal Patel has died recently. The court asked the SIT to verify the claim and adjourned the hearing for next week.