A convict in the 2002 Sardarpura massacre case has moved the Gujarat High Court in connection with his representation before the state government seeking remission from the sentence on the ground that he was suffering from HIV/AIDS. The Court on Monday issued a notice to the government in this connection.
The convict’s lawyer, Nisarg Shah, said, “The Gujarat government has issued a circular in 2013 which enables a convict suffering from incurable diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS to get remission of sentence. We had made a representation to the government in this regard in 2014, seeking remission since my client suffers from HIV/AIDS.”
Shah said that when the representation seeking remission was not decided by the Gujarat government, the convict moved a petition before the HC in 2014, and the court had directed the government to decide the matter within three weeks’.
However, so far, the representation has not been decided by the government, following which the convict has moved the High Court, seeking a direction to the state government to decide his application in a time bound manner and parole till then to go for medical treatment in Mumbai as suggested by doctors.
Shah said that a single judge bench of the HC comprising Justice J B Pardiwala has issued a notice to the government on the petition Monday.
The applicant, in mid-30s, is one of the 14 persons whose conviction in the case was upheld by the Gujarat High Court last year. Thirty three people were burnt to death at Sardarpura village of Vijapur taluka in Mehsana district on February 28, 2002. The case was one of the nine 2002 Godhra and post-Godhra riots cases, which were investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).