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Naroda Patiya case: Gujarat HC adjourns order on 3 convicts’ sentences

IANS | Ahemdabad |

The Gujarat High Court on Friday adjourned the pronouncement of the quantum of a sentence of three convicts in the 2002 Naroda Patiya case.

A division bench of justices Harsha Devani and A S Supehia posted the matter for further hearing on June 19, when lawyers of the convicts would start fresh arguments on the quantum of sentence.

In the previous hearing on May 9, the high court had adjourned the matter and kept it for today after the convicts made a submission that they were not properly represented and needed their lawyers to argue afresh over the quantum.

The three convicts–P J Rajput, Rajkumar Chaumal and Umesh Bharwad–were earlier acquitted by a special SIT court, along with 29 others, in a verdict delivered in 2012.

However, the high court, while hearing appeals, found these three guilties on April 20. The high court had upheld the acquittal of 29 others.

The division bench had reserved its order on their quantum of sentence.

On April 20, the high court had acquitted former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and upheld the conviction of former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi in the 2002 Naroda Patiya case in which 97 people, mostly from the minority community, were killed in the post-Godhra riots.

The HC had upheld the conviction of 16 people, including Bajrangi, and acquitted 18 others, including Kodnani.