Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Babu Bajrangi, undergoing life imprisonment in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, today withdrew his plea seeking regular bail after the Gujarat High Court observed the application should be rejected as bail cannot be granted only on medical grounds.
A division bench of Justices Mohinder Pal and R D Kothari ordered that Bajrangi’s application be “dismissed as withdrawn”.
Bajrangi had moved the HC through his advocate Pravin Gondaliya seeking regular bail on medical grounds for treating eye ailment and also sought suspension of the sentence awarded to him by a special trial court.
However, the HC observed the plea should be rejected as bail cannot be granted only on medical grounds because any prisoner can be provided with treatment as per the jail manual and existing laws.
This prompted Bajrangi’s lawyer to withdraw the application, which was allowed by the HC.
Bajrangi is out of jail since April 24 after a division bench of the HC comprising Justices Ravi Tripathi and R D Kothari granted him bail for 90 days for treatment of his eyes.
The VHP leader had been awarded life imprisonment in August 2012 along with then BJP MLA Maya Kodnani and 29 others in connection with the Naroda Patiya riot case in which 97 people were killed in the communal violence.
The massacre had taken place a day after a coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt down by some assailants near Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002 which caused death of 54 ‘karsevaks’.
Naroda Patia massacre case is one of the nine cases of 2002 Godhra and post-Godhra riots, which were investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.
Bajrangi is also one of the 83 accused in the Naroda Gam riot case in which 11 persons of the minority community were killed on February 28, 2002.
The Gujarat High Court here today adjourned the hearing on a plea filed by Bollywood actor-producer Aamir Khan and four others in a case of alleged filming of Chinkara, an endangered species, in their movie ‘Lagaan’.
Justice R D Kothari today adjourned the hearing as the state government sought time for further representation on the plea and scheduled the case for August 9. The High Court had on June 27 initiated final hearing on the actor’s plea filed in April 2008, which sought to quash the proceedings initiated by the judicial magistrate of Bhuj district against Khan and four others for alleged breach of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, commercial filming of chinkara without permission is illegal. The forest department filed the complaint against Khan and others for allegedly filming Chinkara in the movie ‘Lagaan’, shooting for which was held mostly in Kutch in 2000.
As per the complaint, Chinkara’s footage was taken without the prior permission of the Forest Department. The judicial magistrate of Bhuj in March 2008 issued bailable warrants against Khan, his former wife Reena Dutta, director Ashutosh Gowarikar, executive director Srinivas Rao and cinematographer Ashok Mehta. Khan and four others then secured a stay from the High Court on the warrants.
The actor’s lawyer had contended that the computer- generated images of the animal were used in the film, and not the shots of a real animal. A real chinkara was never filmed as the permission for it was denied. They had also contended that the forest department had obtained warrants against them in 2008 without hearing their side.
The forest department had closed the matter after conducting a preliminary inquiry. The department had to reopen the case after a fresh complaint was filed by Amit Jetha, a RTI activist who was shot dead later in 2010. PTI