FORMER GUJARAT minister and BJP leader, Maya Kodnani, has moved an application before a special designated court seeking issuance of summons to 14 persons, including BJP president Amit Shah, to be examined in her defence in connection with the Naroda Gam massacre case linked to the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
While the application was moved earlier this month, the court on Thursday asked Kodnani’s lawyer Amit Patel to show how this plea was relevant in the case at this stage. The matter will be heard next Monday.
Earlier this month, Kodnani moved an application in the court for “issuing summons” to 14 persons under section 233 (3) of The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). “We will give our submission to the court on Monday,” said Patel.
Section 233 (3) of CrPC reads: “If the accused applies for the issue of any process for compelling the attendance of any witness or the production of any document or thing, the Judge shall issue such process unless he considers, for reasons to be recorded, that such application should be refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice.”
Through this application, Kodnani wants to present before the court alibis for February 28, 2002, the day riots broke out in Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya, and prove that she was at the Gujarat assembly; Sola civil hospital; the nursing home she ran in the Asarwa area of Ahmedabad; the civil hospital in Asarwa; and then, at her home.
Kodnani has been accused of leading a mob of thousands, and inciting violence. She was held guilty on similar charges in the Naroda Patiya massacre case in which was sentenced to life imprisonment. The court had held her as the “kingpin” of the riots. She is on bail since July 2014 on the orders of the Gujarat High Court.
According to the application, Kodnani wants issuance of summons to “Amit Anilchandra Shah” to prove that “she had met Shah at the Assembly and Sola Civil Hospital as well”.
Kodnani, Shah and other leaders had reportedly gone to Sola civil hospital on February 28 to see the bodies of victims of the Sabarmati Express train carnage case which were brought from Godhra.
Apart from Shah, the list of persons who Kodnani wants to be examined in her defence include: Amrish Govindbhai Patel, ex BJP MLA, Asarwa; Rayeeben Somaji Chauhan, a resident of Memnagar, whose baby Kodnani claims to have delivered that day at her Shivam maternity hospital; her hospital staff Jasuben Jayantibhai Jadav; Dr Dhaval Rajnikant Shah who also works at her hospital; her husband Surendra Tahilram Kodnani; and, Dr Anil Chadha, the then superintendent Civil hospital, Asarwa, among others.
Kodnani is among the 82 accused facing trial in the Naroda Gam riots case in which 11 persons from the Muslim community were killed on February 28, 2002.