New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to a convict serving life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case, noting that he has been in jail for the last 17 years.
The man identified as Faruk was convicted of pelting stones to prevent people from coming out of the burning compartment of the Sabarmati Express.
The court granted bail on the grounds that he has been in jail for 17 years. The appeals against the conviction of several convicts in the case are pending adjudication in the apex court for four years.
The bail pleas and the main appeal of the rest of the convicts will be heard later.
ALSO READ | Bihar Hooch Death Toll Reaches 39, CM Nitish Under Fire As Oppn Targets Liquor Ban: Top Points
According to news agency PTI, a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha took note of the submission of a lawyer, appearing for convict Faruk, that he be granted bail considering the period undergone till now.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, said it was “the most heinous offence” in which 59 people, including women and children were burnt alive and there was a need to hear the appeals of the convicts at the earliest.
Mehta said usually stone pelting is an offence of minor nature. However, in the instant case, the train coach was bolted and stones were pelted to ensure that passengers cannot come out moreover, stones were thrown at fire tenders also, the law officer stated, as per PTI.
On February 27, 2002, 59 people were killed when the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, triggering riots in the state.
(With PTI Inputs)