The Supreme Court convicted 12 persons on Friday (July 5) for killing former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya in 2003.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra allowed the appeals of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Gujarat government challenging the high court order by which the convicts were absolved of murder charges in the case. The apex court, however, dismissed a PIL filed by the NGO ‘Centre for Public Interest Litigation’ (CPIL) seeking a court-monitored fresh probe in the Pandya murder case.
It also imposed a fine of ₹50,000 on CPIL for filing the PIL and said that no further petition would be entertained in the case. The Gujarat High Court, while acquitting the 12 persons of the charges of murder, had upheld the trial courts decision that convicted them for criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, and offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
The trial court had awarded punishment ranging from five years to life imprisonment to the convicts. Pandya was the home minister in the then Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government. He was shot dead on March 26, 2003 near Law Garden in Ahmedabad during morning walk.