The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) has opposed the application of former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, sentenced to life imprisonment in Naroda Patiya massacre case, seeking recall of a witness in connection with the 2002 Naroda Gam riots case. The SIT, in its reply last week, has stated that the application is nothing but an attempt to delay the trial. The special trial court has reserved its order which is likely to be pronounced on Monday.
Kodnani, sentenced to life imprisonment in Naroda Patiya massacre case, is also a key accused in Naroda Gam case, one of the nine major rioting cases probed by SIT. In Naroda Gam case, there are a total of 82 accused, including former Bajrang Dal leader Babubhai Patel alias Babu Bajrangi, who is also serving life sentence in Naroda Patiya case, former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Jaydeep Patel, among others.
On July 10, Kodnani moved an application before the special designated court seeking recall of retired policeman K K Mysorewala, a key eye-witness, who was posted as police inspector at Naroda police station when riots broke out on February 28, 2002. Eleven persons from the minority community were killed in the incident. Her application mentions that Mysorewala’s statements were recorded by SIT twice in 2008 and 2009. Subsequently, when the trial began, he was cross-examined. The application claims that during the Mysorewala’s cross-examination, “some relevant questions” were not asked and, therefore, the applicant (Kodnani) should be given an opportunity to re-examine Mysorewala. The application claims that five key eyewitnesses in the case had filed affidavits in the Supreme Court on the riots which is not true. According to the application, if Mysorewala is recalled, he may be asked about the authenticity of these affidavits.
On the other hand, the SIT, in its reply, has opposed the application, stating that the “defence in order to fill up a lacuna wants to recall the witness”. The SIT has said that the application is nothing but a tactic to delay the trial which is likely to be concluded soon. The reply states that it has been nearly one-and-a-half years of cross-examination of the investigating officer P L Mal. The SIT has argued in the reply that the court shall not grant such relief at this stage.