15 Dec 2022

Godhra Train Burning Case: Supreme Court Grants Bail To Convict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to one of the Godhra Train Burning convicts, Farooq. The convict's appeal against the life sentence was pending in the Supreme Court since 2018. The Supreme Court said today that Farooq has been in jail since 2004. He has been in jail for the last 17 years. That's why he should be given bail.

Opposing the bail, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, "It was one of the most heinous crimes. People were burnt alive after being locked in bogies. Stone pelting may be a less serious offence under normal circumstances, but this is different."

What was the matter

On 27 February 2002, a coach of the Sabarmati Express train was set on fire by a mob at Godhra station. In this incident, 59 kar sevaks were burnt to death. After this, the 2002 riots took place in Gujarat. The case of stone pelting and murder was established against convict Farooq. After this he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In fact, 31 people were convicted after about 9 years in the trials that followed the Godhra incident. In 2011, the SIT court sentenced 11 convicts to death and 20 to life imprisonment. Later in October 2017, the Gujarat High Court commuted the death sentence of 11 convicts to life imprisonment. Accused Farooq is one of them.

Earlier on May 13, 2022, another convict Abdul Rahman Dhantia Kankatto Jamburo was granted bail for 6 months. Rahman's wife has terminal cancer and his daughters are mentally ill. On November 11, his bail was extended till March 31, 2023.

Keeping the side of the government, the Solicitor General said – the matter is ready for final hearing. Now there are special benches for time bound hearings also. This can also be listed. 

On this the CJI said - Mr. SG, you can do this. Ask your juniors to prepare a statement and send it to Registrar Puneet Sehgal. I'll definitely check it out.

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