Gujarat, 5 Oct: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday admitted a set of 12 appeal petitions lodged by 16 of the 24 convicts in the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre for final hearing.
VHP leader Atul Vaidh and Mangilal Jain (who is the only convict to get 10 years’ jail term) are among those who have filed the appeals challenging the special court’s order in June, convicting 24 people. The division bench chaired by Justices Anant S Dave and B N Karia admitted the petitions and kept it for final hearing.
On June 17, the special court for the riot cases found 24 accused guilty and sentenced 11 convicts to life imprisonment, 12 persons to seven years’ jail term and one person to 10 years in jail. The court acquitted 36 others also.
The Gulberg society massacre took place on March 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident which resulted in communal riots in Gujarat. At least 69 people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were killed in the violence.
However, an officer of the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) said that they are still awaiting the state government’s approval to move the High Court seeking death penalty to 11 convicts which were awarded life term imprisonment.