Sentencing in Gulbarg Society massacre expected today

Jun, 09 2016 IST

  • 11:20 (IST)

    Fate hangs in balance


    Speaking to lawyers outside the Ahmedabad court, TV channels said that the verdict in the Gulbarg massacre case is awaited by the victims and those accused. 


    On 2 June, Special Court Judge PB Desai had convicted 24 of the 66 accused, including a VHP leader, in the Gulbarg society massacre, which left 69 people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri dead.


    Of the total 66 accused, six had died during the trial. Of the 24 convicted, 11 have been charged with murder, while 13 others, including VHP leader Atul Vaid, have been convicted for lesser offences.

  • 08:47 (IST)

    Capital punishment justified: Spl public prosecutor

     

    On 6 June, special public prosecutor of SIT, RC Kodekar, had told the special court that capital punishment for the 24 convicted was justified as the Gulbarg massacre was the 'rarest of the rare'.


    "The crime is rarest of the rare because the victims were roasted to death and their only crime was that they belonged to the minority community", Kodekar said.

  • 08:44 (IST)

    Sentencing expected today

     

    A special SIT court is likely to pronounce the quantum of sentence for the 24 convicted in the Gulbarg Society massacre today, in which 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

     

    The prosecution had sought nothing less than death sentence or jail term till death for all the convicts, while the defence lawyers had contested it saying that the incident was spontaneous and there were enough provocations for it.

  • 13:46 (IST)

    Sentencing unlikely today

    According to CNN-News18, sentencing is unlikely today. 

  • 13:41 (IST)

    Defense lawyers are putting their case 

    According to the defense lawyers, Supreme Court says death penalty can only be granted when there is total certainty, reported CNN-News18. The prosecution's argument is based on partial evidence, argued the defense lawyers.

  • 13:26 (IST)

    'Will not seek death sentence for all convicted'

    After the June 2 verdict, lawyer of Gulbarg victims, SM Vora, said that he will not seek death sentence for all those convicted.
    "Of the 24 convicted, 11 have been charged under section 302 of IPC (murder). Court may give either capital punishment or life sentence to them," said Vora. "Though court can give capital punishment to the convicts, we are not in favour of it. On 6 June, we will tell the court that we want life imprisonment till death for these 11 convicts, as we are not in favour of death sentence," Vora had said. 

  • 13:11 (IST)

    Court had ruled out criminal conspiracy

    The court on 2 June said that there is no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case, while dropping section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.

  • 12:57 (IST)

    I am frustrated, angry and helpless, says one of the survivors

    One of the many survivors of the 28 February, 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre, Imtiyaz Khan Pathan, who is an electrician, is shocked that “only 24” people have been adjudged guilty by a special sessions court.

    “I have myself given names of many more people than the 24 that have been convicted. Twenty three of these 24 were identified by me. Only 11 of them have been charged for murder,” he told Firstpost.

  • 12:27 (IST)

    Prosecution to seek capital punishment for 11 convicted

    Of the total 66 accused, six had died during the trial. Of the 24 convicted, 11 have been charged with murder, while 13 others, including VHP leader Atul Vaid, have been convicted for lesser offences. The prosecution is likely to seek capital punishment for the 11 convicted who were charged with murder. 

  • 12:15 (IST)

    'Accused should get maximum punishment'

    Prosecution builds case for death penalty considering the brutal nature of the crime. Zakia Jafri, who have been fighting the case for 14 years, also wants the perpetrators to get maximum punishment. 

  • 12:04 (IST)

    'Appeal in higher court'

    After the June 2 verdict, social activist Teesta Setalvad, who has been fighting for the victims of Gulbarg Society, said they will study the judgement in depth and appeal in the higher court.

  • 11:55 (IST)

    Case of mass murder: Prosecution

    Prosecution said that the Gulbarg Society case is of mass murder and exemplary punishment should be given. Special public prosecutor also said that victims were tortured without provocation. 

  • 11:50 (IST)

    War of words between BJP and Congress

    The verdict in Gulbarg Society riot case on 2 June sparked a war of words between BJP and Congress in Gujarat. Welcoming the judgement, state BJP president Vijay Rupani said the verdict gives a "clean chit" to Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
    On the other hand, senior Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela expressed dissatisfaction over the judgement and alleged people were killed during the 2002 riots at the "behest" of the BJP government of that time.

  • 11:40 (IST)

    Court proceedings start

    The accused have been brought to court and the proceedings have begun. "I hope that those involved in the massacre to get the maximum possible punishment," said Ehsan Jafri's son Tanvir after the June 2 verdict. 

  • 11:31 (IST)

    Prosecution likely to seek capital punishment 

    Prosecution likely to seek capital punishment for 11 convicted. The lawyer representing the victms may seek life imprisonment. 

  • 11:28 (IST)

    Mixed feelings over conviction: RK Raghavan

    Former CBI Director RK Raghavan, who headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe cases, including the Gulbarg Society massacre, also expressed disappointment over the acquittals.

    "We did our best with all the facts before the court. It refused to buy our story. The court has believed us partly by not convicting all the accused. It shows the mettle of the Indian judiciary. They just want the Investigating Officer to place all the facts. And it is for the court to make a decision," the ex-SIT chief said.

  • 11:15 (IST)

    Gulbarg Society accused brought to court 

    A special SIT court on 2 June convicted 24 of the 66 accused, including a VHP leader. Out of the 66 accused, six had died during the trial. Of the 24 convicted, 11 have been charged with murder, while other 13 have been convicted for lesser offences.

  • 11:08 (IST)

    Zakia Jafri disappointed over the verdict

    Zakia Jafri, wife of Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri, expressed her disappointment over the verdict. "No I am not satisfied with the verdict. I did not like it. All should have been given punishment for what they did and what they did not. I know it all and as I have seen the massacre. I expected all to be convicted...how they killed people, how they made them homeless, I saw it myself. I can't dare to ask for capital punishment but maximum punishment should be given. They should be given life imprisonment so they could know the pain of staying away from their family and children," she said after the 2 June verdict.  

  • 10:42 (IST)

    Quantum of punishment in Gulbarg Society case to be announced shortly | CNN-News18

     

    Special SIT court in Ahmedabad will be announcing the punishment for the 24 convicts soon

  • 10:34 (IST)

    Too little, too late?

     

    Firstpost's Sanjay Singh wonders if 14 years on, the Gujarat riots have lost their political relevance.

    Read more here

  • 10:20 (IST)

    An eyewitness account of the massacre

     

    Here's the story of Imtiyaz Khan Pathan, a 25-year-old who survived the Gulbarg Society massacre.

    “Murder? Simple murder, any other murder just like you see day in and day out on TV? Thousands of people coming together, pulling people out of their homes like furniture, cutting them into pieces and then burning them. Is this plain simple murder? Wah! Wah!”

    Read more here

  • 10:16 (IST)

    Quantum of punishment for 24 accused to be announced today

     

    On Thursday, Special Court Judge PB Desai had convicted 24 of the total 66 accused in the Gulbarg Society massacre.

    Among those convicted was VHP leader Atul Vaid.

    The prosecution is believed to be seeking capital punishment for the 11 convicted of murder

A special SIT court is likely to pronounce the quantum of sentence for the 24 convicted in the Gulbarg Society massacre today, in which 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The prosecution had sought nothing less than death sentence or jail term till death for all the convicts, while the defence lawyers had contested it saying that the incident was spontaneous and there were enough provocations for it.

On 2 June, Special Court Judge PB Desai had convicted 24 of the 66 accused, including a VHP leader, in the Gulbarg society massacre, which left 69 people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri dead.

Of the total 66 accused, six had died during the trial. Of the 24 convicted, 11 have been charged with murder, while 13 others, including VHP leader Atul Vaid, have been convicted for lesser offences.

While pronouncing the judgment, the court had said there was no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the case and dropped charges under section 120B of the IPC. Those acquitted include sitting BJP corporator Bipin Patel, the then police inspector of the area under which the Gulbarg Society was located, KG Erda, and former Congress corporator Meghsinh Chaudhari.

The hearing on quantum of sentence took place on Monday and is likely to continue today, with the lawyers for prosecution, victims and convicts presenting their submission before the court. Quantum of sentence will be pronounced after conclusion of their submissions.

The aftermath of the carnage of the Gulbarg Society massacre. PTI

Representational image. PTI

During arguments over the quantum of sentence on Monday, public prosecutor representing the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), RC Kodekar, had sought nothing less than death sentence or jail term till death for all 24 convicts.

He said all 24 convicts were found guilty of offence under section 149 of the IPC and therefore required to be treated on par when the sentence is pronounced.

Section 149 states that "every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence."

"The manner of crime was cruel, barbaric and inhuman. Victim's bodies were roasted alive in the crime for which there was no provocation, much less in case of women and children who were defenceless," Kodekar had told the court.

A lawyer for the victims, SM Vora, also sought maximum punishment for the accused and argued that sentence for each offence should not run concurrently so that they spend their entire life in jail.

A defence lawyer, however, refuted the demand of capital or maximum punishment in his arguments saying that the incident was spontaneous and there were enough provocations for it.

"Since the conspiracy has not been established, asking the court for capital punishment on partially relied evidence is not appropriate," lawyer for the convicts Abhay Bharadwaj told the court.

The Gulbarg Society case shook the nation when a mob of 400 people attacked the Gulbarg society in the heart of Ahmedabad and killed the residents, including former MP Jafri, during riots that ensued after S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express in which 'karsevaks' were travelling, was burnt near Godhra train station on 27 February, 2002 in which 58 people died.

It was one of the nine cases of the Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

After the judgment, Ehsan Jafri's wife Zakia Jafri had expressed disappointment over the verdict, saying all of them should have been punished because they killed people and destroyed their property. Of the 66 accused named by the SIT in the case, nine are already behind bars, while others are out on bail.

With inputs from agencies