The Supreme Court on Thursday admitted the appeals filed by the CBI and the Gujarat government against the Gujarat High Court judgment, acquitting the 12 accused in the 2003 case of murder of the former Minister, Haren Pandya.
But when Additional Solicitor-General Harin Raval insisted on issuance of a bailable warrant, a Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and J. Chelameswar said: “Let service of notice be completed, then we will decide.”
The prosecution case was that Pandya was shot dead when he was out for a morning walk in Ahmedabad on March 26, 2003.
The CBI said the August 29, 2010 judgment was erroneous as the High Court failed to consider several factors, and it resulted in miscarriage of justice.
While acquitting the 12 convicts of the charges of murder, it, however, upheld the trial court's decision to convict them of criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder and offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The High Court also strongly criticised the CBI, saying, “the investigation has all through been botched up and blinkered and has left a lot to be desired.” It faulted the CBI for relying heavily on a single eyewitness, Anil Yadram, whose testimony, it said, could not be believed owing to his unnatural behaviour.