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Gujarat HC designates nine judges for riots' trials

May 08, 2009 14:00 IST

The Gujarat High Court has designated nine judges for as many special courts to carry out the trial in the 2002 post-Godhra riot cases being probed by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team.

The high court, in an order issued in this regard as per the apex court's judgement delivered early this month, has designated nine special courts, one for each case, which will become operational soon.

Out of the nine special courts four will be in Ahmedabad, two each in Mehsana and Anand, and one in Himmatnagar of Sabarkantha district.

According to the court's order, Additional Sessions Judge P R Patel has been designated to conduct the trial in the Godhra train carnage case which will be held in the premises of the Sabarmati Central Jail.

Judge S H Vora and Additional Sessions Judge Jyotsna Yagnik will be presiding over the trial of Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya cases respectively.

For the Gulburg Society case, where Congress ex-MP Ehsan Jaffery was killed during the riots, Judge B U Joshi has been designated as the judge for the special court.

For the two cases in Mehsana district -- Dipda Darwaja and Sardarpura -- the court has designated Judge B N Kariya and Judge S C Srivastava respectively.

Judges S Y Trivedi and R M Sarine have been designated to conduct trial in two riot cases in Khambodaj and Ode of Anand district respectively.

While for the riot case in Prantij taluka of Sabarkantha district where some British nationals were killed, Judge H P Patel has been designated as judge of the special

court which will be based in district headquarters Himmatnagar.

The Supreme Court on May 1 lifted the stay on trial of nine cases, including Godhra train carnage and post-Godhra riot cases, and ordered day-to-day hearing by fast track

courts in Gujarat.

The apex court also took into consideration the report filed by the SIT headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan which probed the cases.

While vacating its stay order of November 21, 2003, the court had directed that witnesses be provided security for their safe passage and if necessary at their place of living during the trial.

The court said that the SIT will act as a nodal agency to decide as to which witnesses in the case should be given protection and relocated.

It also armed SIT with sweeping powers and said that it would be open to the SIT chairman to seek change of public prosecutors if any deficiency was found during trial.

The apex court also gave liberty to the SIT to recommend cancellation of bail if it is considered necessary.

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