The Supreme Court Wednesday signalled reprieve for former Gujarat minister and a convict in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre Maya Kodnani, who has pleaded for extension of her interim bail on medical grounds.
Kodnani, who is undergoing a life term after conviction in the case, had to move the apex court following the Gujarat High Court’s refusal to extend her three-month interim bail by further 180 days.
Posting the matter for Thursday to also hear the state government’s views, a Bench led by Justice H L Dattu observed: “We are convinced that she has suffered burn injuries and she is in a pitiable condition. We may think of some favourable order for her.”
The Bench adjourned the matter by a day to also enable Kodnani’s counsel to put on record some additional documents.
Earlier, appearing for Kodnani, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani pointed to the court an “unfortunate” event of her suffering serious injuries after she fell on a lamp at a temple. He said she had to be rushed to a trauma centre and medical reports had been placed on record.
Jethmalani added that the High Court dismissed her plea after noting that extension of interim bail could set a bad precedent. At this, the Bench said: “We will not be calling it a bad precedent or otherwise but we cannot be saying anything unless we hear the other side (state).”
Kodnani has filed the petition challenging the February 8 order of the Gujarat High Court declining to extend her three-month temporary bail granted on medical grounds in November last. She had sought extension of bail by 180 days.
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 trial court had in August 2012 awarded life imprisonment to Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 29 others for Naroda Patiya incident.
The Home Ministry had sent a panel of three senior IAS officers to pick from and Negi's name is not in the list.
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