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Do not seek death for Maya Kodnani: Gujrat Government

Do not seek death for Maya Kodnani: Gujrat Government

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government has refused permission to the Supreme Court-appointed SIT to file an appeal in a higher court seeking death penalty for ex-minister Maya Kodnani in the Naroda Patiya riot case.

This was decided on the basis of Advocate General Kamal Trivedi's opinion that there was "no direct evidence" against her.

Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal activist Babu Bajrangi, along with 30 others, were convicted for life in the 2002 post-Godhra Naroda Patiya riot case, in which 96 people were killed.
"State legal department, on the basis of Advocate General's opinion, has taken a decision not to file an appeal against the special court's order and not to seek death penalty for Maya Kodnani," Prashant Desai, who has been appointed special prosecutor for SIT (special investigation team) in Gujarat High Court for the case, told PTI on Sunday.

"Advocate General has opined that there is no direct evidence against Maya Kodnani and she was convicted only on the basis of other evidence and hence state government should think not to seek death penalty in her case," said Desai. "However, Gujarat government has given a go ahead to SIT to seek death penalty for Babu Bajrangi and four others who were sentenced for life by the designated court," he said.

Joint Secretary, legal department, JJ Pandya had sent a communication on August 30 to SIT member Ashish Bhatia with regard to the decision taken on Naroda Patiya case appeals and that was forwarded to Desai on September 7, 2013. Now, the state legal department has given its permission to SIT to seek death penalty for five convicts, which include Bajrangi, Suresh Langado, Premchand Tiwari, Suresh Netlekar and Manu Maruda, who were sentenced to life.

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