The Gujarat High Court relaxed the parole condition of Bilal Haji, a death row convict in the 2002 Godhra train burning case who is lodged at Vadodara central jail, to perform his daughter’s marriage on Friday which had been stalled earlier. The High Court has decided to ease the tough monetary condition for granting bail and granted him one-day parole on compassionate grounds.
After obtaining one-day parole, he attended the marriage of his daughter on Friday. Earlier, Haji had cancelled the wedding of his daughter scheduled late last month after he expressed his inability to pay for police protection during the two-day parole, a condition added as a repercussion of the parole jump by another death row convict, Salim Zarda, who continues to evade police net nearly a month after he escaped while on parole. Haji is among two dozen convicts in the case who have been granted parole by the HC since January this year.
Incidentally, three other Godhra convicts who sought parole this week have been asked to deposit Rs 1.45 lakh and also bear the cost of police protection during their week-long parole, which their family members said were financially tough conditions that they were not in a position to fulfil. They continue to suffer the consequence of the parole jump by Zarda, who police alleged participated in a highway loot while on parole last month.
Convicts who have applied for parole this week include Bilal Badam, Ayub Patriya and Shaukat Badam. Badam, who had recently visited Godhra after his mother died, was attacked by anti-social elements and left injured. He failed to complete the last rites of his mother and again applied for parole to complete it.
“While the court granted him a week’s parole, it has imposed strict monitary condition of depositing Rs 1.45 lakh which is not feasible. We are not in a situation where we can deposit such a huge amount as security money and also bear the cost of police protection,” Badam’s wife, Nafisa Badam said.
Badam’s brother, Shaukat Badam, has also been granted bail on similar condition. Badam and his three brothers are facing life term for the burning of Godhra train in which 59 persons were charred to death. Another convict, Ayub Pataliya, has also been asked to fulfil similar conditions. Pataliya had sought bail to meet an ailing relative. All three are facing life sentence, along with 17 others lodged at Vadodara central jail. Eleven others are facing death sentence even as confirmation hearing of their death sentence is on in the HC.
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