Judge recuses himself from hearing Maya Kodnani’s bail plea

July 16, 2014 03:44 am | Updated November 16, 2021 11:09 pm IST - Ahmedabad

A Gujarat High Court judge on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the bail plea of former State Minister Maya Kodnani, convicted in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, part of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The bail matter was listed before Justice Anant S. Dave who recused himself without offering a reason. “The judge only said he won’t take up the matter,” Ms. Kodnani’s lawyer Mitesh Amin told The Hindu .

Mr. Amin pointed out that Justice Dave had, in the past, similarly recused himself from hearing Ms. Kodnani’s bail matter two years ago, when the State had challenged her anticipatory bail granted by the lower court.

“The matter will go to the Chief Justice and he would take a decision on transferring the matter to another bench,” Mr. Amin said.

Ms. Kodnani moved the High Court last week seeking bail on various grounds. Her plea contends that the 11 witnesses in the case had proffered “embellished” statements that implicated her, while their earlier statements did not. She has therefore sought discarding of their “embellished” versions.

In addition, Ms. Kodnani has cited her ill health as a ground for bail. “She has intestinal tuberculosis. As per medical advice, she also has to undergo shock therapy as she has suicidal tendencies,” Mr. Amin said.

The High Court had earlier granted a temporary bail to her on health grounds, which was not extended.

In August 2012, a special SIT court sentenced Ms. Kodnani, former Minister for State for Woman and Child Development, to 28 years imprisonment for leading a mob, which killed 97 people in Naroda Patiya in Ahmedabad. Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 29 other convicts were also given life imprisonment.

Ms. Kodnani was MLA of Naroda at the time of the incident on February 28, 2002. She was made MoS in 2007, but had to step down after her arrest in March 2009.

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