The Gujarat high court is likely to pronounce its verdict on Monday on the appeals filed over the SIT court’s judgement in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case. Here’s all you need to know:
A special SIT court had on March 1, 2011 convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case. While 11 people were sentenced to death, 20 were given life in jail.
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* Those acquitted included the prime accused, Maulana Umarji, the then president of Godhra Municipality Mohammad Hussain Kalota, Mohammad Ansari and Nanumiya Chaudhary of Gangapur, Uttar Pradesh.
* Out of over 130 accused persons, 94 could be put on trial before the SIT court. Even after the SIT court delivered its verdict on February 22, 2011, some of the accused were nabbed and put on trial.
* Later, several appeals were filed in the Gujarat High Court challenging the conviction, while the state government had questioned the acquittal of 63 people.
* The Nanavati Commission, appointed by the Gujarat government to probe the carnage, had also concluded that the fire in the S-6 coach was not an accident, but it was set ablaze.
* Like eight other cases of post-Godhra riots, the Supreme Court had earlier stayed the trial in this case too for five years on a petition filed by the NHRC. The apex court later ordered the SIT to probe this case further.
* During the trial, the accused persons turned against their lawyers and did not allow them to bring certain evidence to counter the allegation of conspiracy in this case.