Citing spiritual and moral guidance, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to 15 convicts in the post-Godhra Sardarpura riot case in Gujarat wherein 33 members of a particular community were burnt alive.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant has put them in two groups — six of them will remain in Indore and the rest will go to Jabalpur. They will however not be allowed to enter Gujarat.
The top court also asked them to carry out social work and practice spirituality during the bail period, to help reinforce moral guidance in them.
The top court also asked the district legal authorities at Indore and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh to ensure that the convicts, as per the top court direction on granting bail, are engaged in spiritual and social work.
The court asked the authorities to help them find work for a livelihood. Following this, the state legal authorities will file a compliance report, as also on their conduct.
The convicts were represented by senior advocate P.S. Patwalia and advocate Astha Sharma whereas Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the state.
The court directed the release of the convicts on furnishing bail bonds of Rs 25,000 each, with a surety of equal amount, subject to other conditions.
The appeals of the convicts are pending in the Supreme Court. The Gujarat High Court had acquitted 14 but convicted 17 and awarded them life sentence in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.