Supreme Court Denies bail to 3 convicts in godhra train burning case

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the bail pleas of three convicts serving life term in the 2002 Godhra train burning case, which plunged Gujarat into one of the worst communal riots, terming it a “very serious incident”.

“The incident is also a very serious incident. It is not a question of an isolated person being murdered,” a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud observed, adding that specific roles have been attributed to these convicts.

The top court said it will list the appeals challenging the Gujarat High Court verdict in the case before an appropriate bench.

The bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, refused to enlarge the convicts Saukat Yusuf Ismail Mohan, Bilal Abdullah Ismail Badam Ghanchi and Siddik, on bail “at this stage”.

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for the convicts, told the bench that the three were awarded life term by the trial court and, while one of them is in custody for over 17 years and six months, another is in jail for 20 years.

“Having regard to the specific role which is attributed to the appellants, at this stage, we are not inclined to enlarge the appellants on bail,” the bench said.

Hegde argued two of them have been accused of minor offences of stone-pelting and robbing people of ornaments during the violence. He said those ornaments were never recovered.