The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) which investigated key cases of the 2002 communal riots intends to move the Gujarat high court for capital punishment to Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi and some other convicts. Sources in the SIT said that the agency will, in fact, be seeking the death penalty for all those sentenced to 25 years imprisonment or more in the Naroda Patia riot case.
The sources said that the SIT has set in motion the process for an appeal in the high court seeking capital punishment for Kodnani, Bajrangi and others sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in the case.
Talking to DNA, a source said that the court itself had accepted that the NarodaPatia case as falling in the ‘rarest of the rare’ category; hence those convicted in the case could be given the capital punishment.
The SIT will be writing to the state legal department about its intention to file an appeal in the high court and will then follow with an appeal seeking capital punishment for some of the convicted accused.
Besides Kodnani and Bajrangi, the probe team will demand capital punishment for seven others including Suresh Chhara.
It may be mentioned here that Kodnani, Bajrangi and 27 others convicted and jailed by the trial court in the Naroda Patia case have already filed appeals in the high court against their conviction.
The trial court had sentenced Kodani to 28 years in jail. Bajrangi was jailed till his natural death while eight others were jailed for 31 years each. Another 22 convicts were awarded jail term of 24 years.
Suresh Netlekar, who was absconding after his conviction in the case, was the last one to be sentenced. He was jailed for 31 years.