The Gujarat High Court today dismissed the plea of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT), to grant a stay on its order granting bail to former minister Maya Kodnani in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case. A division bench comprising justices V M Sahai and R P Dholaria dismissed the plea, saying their (SIT) application has come after the order was executed.
"Order dated July 30, 2014 (which granted bail to Kodnani) was executed prior to SIT moving the application. Therefore, the application filed by SIT becomes infructuous and is dismissed," the court said.
The SIT had filed an application seeking stay on court order to grant bail to Kodnani. SIT lawyer P G Desai had said that they will move the Supreme Court even if the High Court will not grant them the stay after taking sanctions from Gujarat government.
Kodnani, the former Minister for Women and Child Development in the then Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government, was granted bail yesterday by a division bench of the Gujarat High Court on "medical grounds".
Kodnani is the the first convict to get bail in the Naroda Patiya riots case. She is also the first woman to be convicted in one of the post-Godhra riots cases.
In August 2012, a special court awarded life imprisonment to then BJP MLA Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 29 others for their role in the 2002 riots here at Naroda Patiya, where 97 people were killed. The court had named Kodnani, a minister in then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet, as "a kingpin of riots" in the Naroda Patiya area and sentenced her to 28 years' imprisonment.
Kodnani was the MLA of Naroda during the time of riots. She was then made Minister of State for Women and Child Development in 2007. She had to resign from her post after her arrest. The massacre had taken place a day after the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002.