Gujarat had gone by Advocate General’s opinion that there was no direct evidence against the former Minister

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the post-Godhra riots has asked the Supreme Court for permission to file a plea for slapping the death penalty on Maya Kodnani, the former Gujarat Minister convicted for involvement in the Naroda Patiya 2002 riots.The SIT made the plea in the quarterly report it filed before the Supreme Court. The appeal comes after the State government recently decided not to press for enhancement of the 28-year sentence awarded to Kodnani while agreeing to the filing of an appeal for death for four others, including Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi.

The State government’s refusal to seek death for Kodnani was based on Advocate General Kamal Trivedi’s opinion that there was “no direct evidence” against the former Minister.

Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi, along with 30 others, were convicted for life over the 2002 riots, in which 96 people were killed.

Mr. Trivedi said Kodnani was convicted only on the basis of indirect evidence and the government should not press for death penalty in her case. The government has given SIT permission to seek the death penalty for Babu Bajrangi and four other accused who were sentenced to life by the designated court.

The case has seen several twists and turns. Having initially permitted SIT to seek death for Kodnani, Bajrangi and eight others, the State backtracked in Kodnani’s case in May.

Keywords: GodhrariotsKodnani