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Rediff.com  » News » Riots case: Gujarat minister quits after court cancels bail

Riots case: Gujarat minister quits after court cancels bail

Last updated on: March 27, 2009 15:40 IST

Gujarat minister Maya Kodanani on Friday resigned from the state cabinet after the Gujarat High court cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to her and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Jaidip Patel in connection with the 2002 Naroda-Patiya riot case.

The court has also rejected their plea seeking time for further appeal.

Following the verdict, Kodanani and Patel surrendered before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team.

Justice D H Vaghela held that presence of Kodanani and Patel at the scene of offence is prima facie established from the evidence produced by the SIT.

The court observed that the accused did not do anything to quell or control the mob, which killed 106 people at Naroda Patia and Naroda village incidents.

Kodnani is accused in both the cases while Patel is accused in Naroda village case.

The court held that the crime committed by the mob was of 'heinous nature' and has 'far reaching implications'.

In its order, the court observed that communal harmony is the hallmark of democracy and religions fanatics are no better than terrorists.

Earlier on February 5, an Ahmedabad sessions court had granted anticipatory bail to the duo when they were declared absconding by the SIT, which is probing a few riots cases afresh.

Kodnani and Patel were declared absconding by the agency in the last week of January this year after they failed to turn up despite repeated summons.

Following the lower court order, SIT had approached the high court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to the accused.

During the course of argument, lawyers appearing for Kodanani had submitted that there was a conspiracy to frame her in the case at a time of parliamentary elections.

They had also submitted that statements given by the witnesses were contradictory and had no credentials. 

A spokesman of the Modi government said that Kodanani, who was Minister of State for Higher Education, has resigned after High Court cancelled her anticipatory bail.

Earlier, responding to the high court order, BJP spokesman Balbir Punj said, "The BJP respected in letter and spirit the verdict of the Gujarat High Court and will act accordingly to the full satisfaction of the honourable court."

"In case she is arrested, she has no right to remain a minister," he said.

Kodanani and Patel were declared absconding by the agency in the last week of January this year after they failed to turn up despite repeated summons.

Following the lower court order, SIT had approached the High Court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to the accused.

During the course of argument, lawyers appearing for Kodanani had submitted that there was a conspiracy to frame her in the case at a time of parliamentary elections.

They had also submitted that statements given by the witnesses were contradictory and had no credentials.