The Gujarat Government has finally given permission to the Special Investigation Team (SIT),appointed by the Supreme Court,to challenge the anticipatory bail granted to Minister of State for Women,Child Development and Higher Education Maya Kodnani by a local court in Ahmedabad.
Confirming this over the phone,SIT chief R K Raghavan told The Indian Express. “We received the Government permission on Wednesday,and we will now challenge the bail in the Gujarat High Court.”
The SIT had approached the state Government for permission as,under the existing legal provisions,its approval was mandatory to challenge a minister’s bail. Though the Government was initially hesitant to accord permission,it could not defer it owing to legal problems it would have courted for itself.
When the SIT declared Kodnani and former VHP general secretary Jaydeep Patel as absconders after they failed to appear before it despite summons issued to them in connection with their involvement in Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya massacres during the 2002 communal riots,they had moved the city sessions court,seeking anticipatory bail.
The two were granted anticipatory bails for 90 days by City Sessions Judge A K Aswani. The judge also directed them to surrender their passports to the SIT and barred their entry into Naroda area till further orders.
Sources said both Kodnani and Patel had approached SIT to surrender their passports but the officials did not accept it because it would have amounted to accepting the bail and obstructed it from challenging the bail orders.
While Kodnani is accused of involvement in both Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya cases,Patel is accused of being involved in Naroda Gam riot case.