SC grants bail to 17 convicts in 2002 post-Godhra riots case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to 17 convicts in the 2002 post-Godhra riots case in which 33 Muslims were burnt alive, and asked them to relocate to Madhya Pradesh and do community service.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant divided the convicts in two groups and said one group would move out of Gujarat and stay at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

The other group of convicts will have to relocate themselves to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, the Bench said.

The convicts, who were handed down life sentence in the riots case, have appealed against the Gujarat High Court order convicting them.

The court said that all the convicts will have to undertake community services for six hours a week besides reporting to the local police station on a weekly basis as bail conditions.

The Supreme Court has directed the District Legal Services Authorities at Indore and Jabalpur to ensure that the convicts observe bail conditions diligently.

It has also directed DLSA to help the convicts in finding suitable employment for earning their livelihood.

It has directed the Madhya Pradesh State Legal Service Authority to file a report after three months stating as to whether the convicts have complied with the conditions or not.

Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had acquitted 14 and convicted 17 in the post-Godhra riots case.


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