The Supreme Court on Wednesday paved the way for trial of over 50 accused in the 2008 Gujarat serial bomb blasts which killed over 56 persons.
A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph rejected the plea of the accused that the trial in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled State could not be held in a free and fair manner owing to the surcharged communal atmosphere in the aftermath of the 2002 Godhra massacre.
The Supreme Court said things have considerably “settled down” after the Godhra killings and hence the claim of the accused that the trial could not be held in a fair manner was mere apprehension.
It, however, granted liberty to the accused to move the court again if and when there were genuine apprehensions of the trial being held in a vitiated atmosphere.
The Supreme Court had earlier in 2009 stayed the trial against the accused after the latter sought transfer of the cases outside the State on the ground that the prosecution and the investigating agencies were totally biased in favour of the ruling party.