Godhra train carnage: Hearing put off for two months

April 6th, 2011 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, April 6 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court Tuesday deferred for two months the hearing on confirmation of the death sentence awarded to 11 people convicted in the 2002 Godhra train carnage case.

The division bench of Justice R.R. Tripathi and Justice P.P. Bhatt deferred the hearing on the request of Panchmahal’s principal district and sessions judge to allow time to prepare the necessary papers.

He stated in his request that since some of the copies relating to the case were hand written and illegible, the court would need some time to compile the record properly.

The high court directed the judge to personally look into the progress in the work and expedite the process.

A special court March 1 awarded death penalty to 11 people and life imprisonment to 20 others for the February 2002 burning of a coach of the Sabarmati Express in Gujarat’s Godhra town, in which 59 people were killed, triggering a communal frenzy that claimed an estimated 1,000 lives in the state.

The sentence was pronounced by Special Judge P.R. Patel in a court within the high-security Sabarmati prison in Ahmedabad.

The 31 people were convicted February 22 and held guilty of conspiring and setting on fire S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express, carrying many Hindu activists returning to Gujarat from Uttar Pradesh’s temple town Ayodhya.

The court acquitted 63 others, including alleged mastermind of the incident Maulvi Umarji.

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