ANI Photo | SC declines to consider relief to three life term convicts in 2002 Godhra train burning case

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider the bail plea of three life term convicts in the 2002 Godhra train coach-burning case at this stage but agreed to list the appeal before an appropriate bench.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that the incident was very serious in nature and not an isolated one. However, the bench said that it will list an appeal before an appropriate bench.
The bench passed the order after hearing the submission of both parties. Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde represented the accused in the matter while Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the respondent side.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the court of the charges against the three accused and said that one of them is allegedly the main conspirator and actively involved in the incident.
The bench said that considering the specific role attributed to the convicts, at this stage, it is not willing to enlarge these individuals on bail. However, this will not affect their appeal’s rights, the court clarified.
In April, the SC granted bail to eight accused persons in the 2002 Godhra train coach-burning case. Eight people were those who were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and their sentences were upheld by the trial court order.
The top court had earlier denied the bail application of those accused persons whose death sentence awarded by the trial  Court was commuted to life imprisonment by the Gujarat High Court.
The top court noted that the sentence of death which was awarded by the trial Court has been commuted to life imprisonment by the High Court and the State Government has preferred appeals against the order of the High Court.
The state government has also filed appeals against the Gujarat High Court order which has commuted the sentence of some convicts from the death penalty to life imprisonment.
Around 58 people lost their lives when some coaches of Sabarmati Express were torched at the Godhra Railway Station in Gujarat on February 27, 2002. The incident had triggered large-scale riots in Gujarat. A local court in 2011 convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 people. 
Eleven accused were sentenced death penalty by the trial court. Later Gujarat HC commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment. The court was hearing bail pleas of some convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train coach-burning case. Convicts moved the SC challenging the Gujarat HC order

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