The Gujarat High Court on Monday reserved its order on two petitions seeking removal of a public prosecutor who conducted the 2002 Best Bakery riots case in Vadodara district court. The petitions have alleged that due to his dubious role in hampering the trial, as observed by the Supreme Court, the state government should not have appointed him to the post.
Justice J B Pardiwala after hearing the petitions reserved the order.
The petitioners, Laxman Rupchand Meghwani, a Vadodara-based social activist, and Mahesh Patel, moved the petition arguing Raghuvir Pandya, posted as District Government Pleader, should be removed from the post as there were adverse remarks against him by the Supreme Court in 2004. The petitioners said that Pandya was public prosecutor in the 2002 Best Bakery riots case in which all the 21 accused were acquitted by the trial court and the order was upheld in the Gujarat High Court.
“The apex court ordered for a fresh trial in 2004 and transferred the case to Mumbai. The court made an adverse remark against Pandya for the manner in which he conducted the trial as public prosecutor. The court went to say that he should be removed. Even after such a strong observation the state government appointed Pandya as public prosecutor for various terms,” said advocate R J Goswami who appeared for Meghwani.
Goswami said Pandya’s term ended in 2002, but it was was extended till 2005. He was again given the same post in 2008 for three years and earlier this year, he was chosen again for the same post.