The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued notices to the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) and state government on a petition filed by the wife of a Naroda Patiya riots’ convict, who is serving a life sentence. The petitioner has sought cancellation of her husband’s temporary bail alleging “mental and physical torture” by him.
Minaben Rathod approached the division bench of justices Harsha Devani and G R Udhwani requesting them to cancel temporary bail of her husband, Navab alias Kalu Harisingh Rathod. She alleged that her husband has been “torturing and physically assaulting her”. The bench has now asked the Naroda police station to make sure Navab’s presence Tuesday.
Minaben had appeared in the court on behalf of her husband seeking extension of his bail for a week on February 17. She had stated that her husband had been operated upon at a hospital and required till February 22 to undergo further treatment. The court then granted the extension for ten days till February 27.
Navab is one of the 31 people who were convicted in 2012 for their role in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case, in which 97 people from minority community were killed. Former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi are among the few convicts who were sentenced to life imprisonment. They all have challenged the conviction in the high court, which is being heard before this same bench. On Monday, their appeal was listed for hearing, but was adjourned till March 4.
This is the second instance when a Naroda Patiya case convict’s wife has approached the court alleging physical torture by her husband. Earlier, wife of another convict Suresh Langado had lodged an FIR against him alleging domestic violence and marital rape. Langado was recently in news for allegedly assaulting a woman journalist who went to interview him.
Following Minaben’s submission, the division bench appointed lawyer Kshitij Amin as amicus to assist the court. Amin said that the court has issued notices and kept the matter for further hearing on Tuesday. He said that Mina’s husband Navab was in hospital for treatment.