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Bilkis Banu case to be heard in Dahod court

Last updated on: March 05, 2004 18:11 IST

All proceedings, including hearing of the bail applications in the Bilkis Banu gangrape-cum-murder case, related to the post-Godhra riots, would now be held at the Dahod district sessions court.

This order was passed by Special Fast Track Court judge H P Patel on a CBI plea that the district court in Ahmedabad did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

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An executive magistrate, who filed for anticipatory bail fearing arrest by the CBI in the Bilkis case, withdrew his application on Thursday while a head constable, arrested by the CBI, would not file a fresh plea for bail in the Dahod.

In its affidavit, the CBI said, as per a Gujarat government notification, only a competent magistrate of the area where the incident occurred could hear the matter.

Defence advocate Arvind Pandya did not contest this claim.

The Special Fast Track Court in Ahmedabad had earlier rejected the anticipatory bail plea of three Gujarat policemen who feared CBI arrest after the agency had hinted at poor investigation by them in the Bilkis case.

At present, 13 persons, including a BJP leader from Dahod and a head constable from Randhipur, have been arrested and are in judicial custody. The constable was arrested for 'tampering with evidence'.

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