The Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to Jagdish Rajput,one of the main accused in the Best Bakery attack of 2002,which took place during the communal riots in Gujarat.
Rajput,who is in an advanced stage of HIV- AIDS,was granted bail on health grounds by the court. Considering the precarious health condition of the applicant,it would be appropriate that he be granted bail, the division Bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode said in the order.
While directing that he be released immediately,the judges directed that Rajput should report to the local police station regarding his health condition every two weeks.
Rajput is presently lodged in the Kolhapur Central Jail.
In March 2002,a mob had burnt to death 14 persons who were taking refuge inside the Best Bakery in Vadodara. Subsequently,the case was transferred from Gujarat to the Bombay High Court by the apex court for ensuring a fair trial.
Rajput was one of the 11 persons who were identified in the court as part of the mob by Yasmin Sheikh,one of the witnesses to the incident. Yasmin is the sister of prime witness Zahira Sheikh. In February 2006,Rajput was among the nine persons sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in Mumbai for their role in the riots. He had subsequently appealed against the sentence before the High Court and the case is currently pending.
According to the witnesses,the mob armed with iron rods,swords and kerosene bottles had attacked the bakery in the intervening night between March 1 and March 2.