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HC to set up six fast-track courts for speedy trial of ’02 riot cases

The Gujarat High Court,as per the directions of the Supreme Court,will soon initiate the process of setting up six fast-track courts for the trial of the 2002 riot cases.

Written by Syed Khalique Ahmed | Ahmedabad |
May 5, 2009 12:29:43 am

High Court registry receives SC order on special courts

The Gujarat High Court,as per the directions of the Supreme Court,will soon initiate the process of setting up six fast-track courts for the trial of the 2002 riot cases.

A High Court official said that the HC registry received the apex court’s order on Monday,and necessary steps would now be taken for constituting the special courts. “We will follow the apex court’s directions and take necessary steps to set up the fast-track courts at the earliest,” said a senior administrative official.

However,the official did not say anything about the exact directions of the apex court.

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Meanwhile,SIT (Special Investigation Team) chief R K Raghanvan is likely to reach here and call on the Gujarat High Court authorities in connection with the setting up of special courts and appointment of public prosecutors.

In the past,allegations had been levelled against public prosecutors for their proximity to the ruling party.

When asked if separate courts would be set up,or regular judges in the Sessions Court would be designated as special fast-track courts to conduct the six riot cases,the official said that the regular judges were most likely to be given the assignment of fast-track courts for the six cases with a direction to conduct trial on a day-to-day basis.

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When pointed out that it would affect the trial of other cases in the courts of the judges who would be designated as fast-track judges,the official said such a situation would not arise as they would be allowed to simultaneously conduct trials of regular cases.

However,the official sources said that it could take time if the victims pressed for some particular judges and advocates as public prosecutors.

In case of appointment of special courts for retrial of the Best Bakery Case and the Bilqis Bano gangrape case in Mumbai,he said there are still two or three months left with them to set up the special courts as the victims have been insisting upon public prosecutors of their choice.

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NGOs have already demanded that public prosecutors be appointed in consultation with the victims and survivors. Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) representative Mukul Sinha,who had represented the riot victims before the Nanavati-Shah Commission,wants the victim-survivors to be given a chance to have a say in the appointment of public prosecutors so as to ensure transparency.

The six special courts to be set up include two in Ahmedabad city for trial of the accused involved in the Gulberg Society mass murder case,the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam cases,one in Anand for trial of the Ode case,one in Godhra,one in Palanpur for the killing of British nationals at Prantij (Sabarkantha district) and another one for the Dipada Darwaza (Visnagar) and the Sardarpura (Mehsana) incidents. The trial in these cases had been stayed by the apex court in 2002 after the National Human Rights Commission and a Mumbai-based NGO,Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP),had prayed for a CBI probe and trial outside Gujarat.

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First published on: 05-05-2009 at 12:29:43 am

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