Supreme Court turns down bail of three convicts involved in Godhra train carnage

Supreme Court turns down bail of three convicts involved in Godhra train carnage

On Monday (August 14), the Supreme Court refused to grant bail to three men, who were convicted in the Godhra train burning case of 2002. The pre-planned attack led to the death of 59 pilgrims, including 27 women and 10 children.

The matter came up before a three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra. While rejecting the bail applications, the CJI noted, “The incident is also a very serious incident. It’s not an isolated death of one person.”

He added that the matter could not be kept pending indefinitely and had to be heard early. “I’ll list the appeal before an appropriate bench. Because this matter has to hear this. It can’t be kept indefinitely,” he stated.

“We are not inclined at this stage to grant bail,” the court said. Chief Justice of India informed that an appropriate bench will be constituted and that the three convicts could file their bail applications before that particular Bench.

On February 27, 2002, an Islamist mob set two coaches of the Sabarmati Express on fire in Godhra. 59 Hindu karsevaks, including children and women, were burnt alive in the incident. Following the train burning incident, communal riots broke out in Gujarat, leaving 1,200 persons dead and several thousand injured.

In March 2011, 11 convicts were handed death sentences in the matter, and 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court. Six years later, the death penalty for 11 convicts was commuted to life imprisonment by Gujarat High Court, while the court upheld life imprisonment for 20 others.

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