The Gujarat High Court has rejected a petition filed by an accused in the Godhra train burning case, challenging the trial court’s decision to consider his confession recorded under anti-terror law POTA, as evidence.
Justice A.S. Dave, while rejecting the plea of Abid Hussain Abdulkarim Sheikh on Thursday, directed the trial court to go ahead and take his confessional statement on record.
This is one of the nine cases, related to Godhra train carnage and subsequent riots, which was probed afresh by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). The apex court has asked the judges conducting trial in these cases to go ahead with the proceedings, but not to deliver the verdict.
Sheikh moved the High Court after Special Judge P R Patel, trying the case related to burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002, ruled that the confessional statement recorded under Section 32 of Prevention of Terrorism Act could be taken as evidence during the trial and the court would decide on its admissibility at a later stage.
In his petition, Sheikh had contended that since POTA charges were dropped in the case by an order of the High Court given on the recommendation of the POTA Review Committee, his statement cannot be used during the trial being conducted under the provisions of CrPC and IPC.