The Government of Gujarat moved the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the state High Courts decision to uphold a recommendation by the Central POTA Review Committee to drop charges against the accused in the Godhra train carnage of 2002. Agreeing to hear the matter,the Bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan allowed the states counsel to file an appeal. The apex court will examine the matter on March 6,when another petition challenging the High Courts verdict is scheduled for hearing.
The High Court had recently dismissed a petition challenging the decision of the POTA Review Committee to drop POTA charges against the 134 accused in the Godhra case. This week,Sardarji Maganji Waghela,who lost his son in the incident,also filed an appeal against the order of the High Court that dismissed his petition challenging the POTA panels decision.
Though the High Court had not interfered with the findings of the POTA Review Committee,it allowed Waghela to approach the Supreme Court against its verdict by staying all proceedings in connection with the Godhra case. The transfer of the case from the designated POTA court to a sessions court was also stayed.
The POTA Review Committee,set up under the 2004 law to repeal POTA,had recommended the dropping of POTA charges against the accused,instead recommending that the state try them under provisions of the Indian Penal Code.