Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has rejected the appeal of four persons challenging a lower court order making them accused in one of the 2002 riot cases in Anand district probed by special investigation team (SIT).
The applications of Bhavesh Patel, Suresh Somaiya, Bipin Patel and Suresh Patel, accused in the case registered in Khambolaj police station of Anand district where three persons were burnt to death during the post-Godhra riots were rejected by Justice MD Shah, last week.
These accused had challenged the order of a special judge making them accused in the case based on application submitted by one of the witnesses.
"This court finds that nature of evidence appearing to the judge (of lower court) for exercising his sound judicial discretion for invoking powers under Section 319 of the CrPC cannot be said to be illegal and therefore, no interference is called for by this court," the court observed.
The high court further said in the order that the trial court had exercised its discretion after considering the evidence on record and after giving full hearing to accused and the SIT.
It also observed that there was no abuse of process of law or any illegality by the trial court and hence, it was of the opinion that it should use its inherent powers to set aside the lower court order.
"The applicants will get all the opportunities to place their defence during the course of trial," it added.
According to details of the case, after SIT started investigation in 2008, a charge sheet was filed and trial commenced against 37 accused.
During the course of trial, one of the original complainants filed application seeking to include 13 more persons as accused in the case.
The trial court considering the application, allowed it and made 13 those persons accused in the case, out of which Bhavesh Patel, Suresh Somaiya, Bipin Patel and Suresh Patel challenged the order in the high court.
The four had contended that their names were not disclosed by the witnesses in their earlier statements before police, and they were disclosed only in court without attributing any specific role with ulterior motive.
They had further submitted that there were major contradictions in the evidence of witnesses who disclosed their names before the trial court.
Hence, there was no possibility of conviction and, therefore, the order passed by the trial court was bad in law and required to be quashed and set aside.