New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday restored the conviction of all 12 accused by a trial court in connection with the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya, overturning the Gujarat High Court verdict that had acquitted them.
Pandya, who was Gujarat’s home minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, was shot dead on 26 March 2003 in Ahmedabad when he was out on a morning walk.
In 2007, a special court hearing cases pertaining to the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, had convicted the 12 accused and awarded them a life sentence.
CBI had challenged the HC verdict
The SC verdict came on a plea filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that had challenged the acquittal of the 12 accused by the Gujarat High Court on 29 August 2011. While acquitting them, the high court had pulled up the CBI for a “botched-up” probe.
The SC bench comprising judges Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran had reserved its verdict on the CBI plea filed in January this year.
The apex court, however, dismissed a plea filed by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking a court-monitored investigation into the case, and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on it. The CPIL had sought a court-monitored probe on grounds of “new pieces of information that have come to light…”
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.