The Gujarat government has finally given permission to the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to challenge the anticipatory bail granted to BJP minister Maya Kodnani by a local court.
SIT chief R K Raghavan confirmed this to Newsline over the phone on Wednesday. We received the governments permission today and will now challenge the order in the Gujarat High Court, he said.
The SIT had approached the government and sought its permission to challenge the bail,as it was mandatory under the existing legal provisions. Though the government was initially hesitant in according permission,it could not hold on the issue for long owing to legal problems it would have courted for itself.
When the SIT declared Kodnani,the Minister of State for Women and Child Development,and Higher Education,and former VHP general secretary Jaydeep Patel as absconders,the duo moved the city sessions court and anticipatory bail. Both had failed to appear before the SIT despite summons issued to them in connection with the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam riot cases.
They were granted anticipatory bail for 90 days by City Sessions Judge A K Aswani on the condition that they will surrender their passports to the SIT and not enter the Naroda area till further orders.
Though the SIT had no problem in challenging the bail orders of Patel,it faced legal hurdles in Kodnanis case because of her ministerial status.
Though the SIT attracted criticism from certain quarters,including senior advocates and activists involved in providing legal counsels to the victims of the 2002 riot cases,it went ahead with securing permission to proceed against Kodnani in the High Court.
Sources in the SIT said that Kodnani and Patel had approached them to surrender their passports,but the officials did not accept it because it would have amounted to accepting the bail and obstructed it from challenging the bail orders.
Kodnani is accused in both Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya cases,while Patel is an accused in the Naroda Gam riot case.