HC admits SIT appeals in Deepda Darwaza case

The appeals filed by SIT challenging the designated court’s order in post-Godhra Deepda Darwaza riots case, in which 11 persons, including nine women and children were killed has been admitted by the Gujarat High Court.

A division bench of Justices M R Shah and S H Vora exempted the SIT for the delay in filing the appeals and admitted them.

In its judgment on July 30, 2012, the designated judge S C Srivastava has awarded life imprisonment to 21 people and a year in jail to a retired police officer, while acquitting 61 others.

SIT had filed the appeals challenging the judgment earlier this month, beyond the stipulated time limit of 90 days and hence it has also filed a separate application seeking court’s permission to grant delay.

In the appeals, the SIT has demanded that 21 accused convicted under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC should be convicted for murder (under section 302 of IPC).

It has also challenged the acquittal of 57 accused, who were given benefit of doubt by the designated court, on the grounds that there was a criminal conspiracy behind the incident which has resulted in the death of 11 members of a family.

In the case of four other accused, who were acquitted by the court, a consent to file appeal was yet to be received from the state legal department as their whereabouts was not known and appeals against their acquittal has not been filed yet.

Over a decade after the incident, designated judge had acquitted 61 of the 83 accused, including former BJP MLA Prahlad Gosa and ex-municipal president Dayabhai Patel, also of the same party.

The designated court had dropped the charges of murder (section 302) and 120(B) (Criminal Conspiracy) of IPC against all the 21, who were awarded life imprisonment.

2G: High Court asks Centre to respond to Essar”s plea

The Delhi High Court asked the Centre  to respond to the pleas of Essar Teleholdings Ltd and its promoters, Ravi and Anshuman Ruia, for quashing of the charges framed against them in a case linked to the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Notice has been issued by Justice AK Pathak to the Ministry of Law, the CBI and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), seeking their replies to the petitions of the telecom major and its two promoters against a lower court order on framing of charges against them for their trial in the case.

The court issued notices to the Law Ministry and the DoT, rejecting their contentions that the same cannot be issued against them as they were not the parties to the case.

Appearing for the telecom firm, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued that DoT and the Law Ministry too be asked to respond to the petition as it is the case of the CBI that the company had cheated the DoT.

Rohatgi elaborated on his submission saying it was the Law Ministry which had opined that no case was made out against the telecom firm.

“If I have cheated something from DoT, let them file an affidavit that they have been cheated”

The telecom firm also sought to distinguish its case from those against the other accused in the 2G scam saying “we have a better case than the others as there is no Prevention of Corruption Act invoked against us.”

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on January 22, 2013.

The telecom firm and its promoters have moved the high court against the May 25 order of the Special CBI court which had framed charges against the Ruias and Essar Teleholdings Ltd and also Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf.

Besides, Ruias, Essar Teleholdings Ltd, the court had also framed charges against companies – Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and their promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I P Khaitan under section 120 B read with 420 IPC.