The Special Investigation Team (SIT),probing the 2002 riots,may seek guidance from the Supreme Court on the issue of death penalty for former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani,convicted in the Naroda Patiya case.
We have apprised the Supreme Court about the recent Gujarat government decision to withdraw sanction for filing an appeal seeking death penalty for Kodnani in the Naroda Patiya case, a top SIT official told PTI on Tuesday.
Asked whether the SIT has filed a petition in the apex court in this regard,he replied in the negative. We are not filing any petition because we are neither a party nor a respondent in the matter. But since we are Supreme Court-appointed officers for the case,we will be seeking judicial guidance on this matter, he added.
Earlier,the state government had given its consent to the Supreme Court-appointed probe team to file an appeal in the Gujarat High Court seeking capital punishment for Kodnani and other convicts in the case like Babu Bajrangi,a Bajrang Dal leader.
However,the decision was later put on hold and Gujarat Advocate Generals opinion was sought on the issue.
Last month,after Advocate General gave his opinion,the Gujarat government withdrew consent to SIT to seek death penalty for Kodnani,but gave it permission to demand capital punishment for Bajrangi and four other convicts. In August 2012,the former minister in the Narendra Modi government was sentenced to 28 years in prison by a special court for the riots in Naroda Patia area near here,where 96 people were killed in the post-Godhra violence.