Supreme Court (File Photo)
Supreme Court (File Photo)

Haren Pandya murder case: SC restores conviction of nine accused

ANI | Updated: Jul 05, 2019 20:44 IST

New Delhi [India], July 5 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday restored the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court against nine accused in former Gujarat Minister Haren Pandya murder case.
A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Vineet Saran said out of 12 accused two have already completed their sentence and of one accused the High Court had modified the order, so no interference was required with regard to three accused.
"We restore the conviction and sentence imposed by the Trial Court on Mohmed Asgar Ali, Kalim Ahmed, Anas Machiswala, Mohmed Yunus Sareshwala, Rehan Puthawala, Mohmed Riyaz, Mohmed Parvez Sheikh, Parvez Khan Pathan, Mohmed Faruq under Section 3 (1) and 3 (3) of POTA and 120B and Section 302 read with Section 120B IPC as ordered by the Trial Court. The appeals are accordingly disposed of," the Bench said in its verdict.
"However, with respect to Mohmed Abdul Raouf, Mohd. Shafiuddin and Shahnawaz Gandhi the CBI did not prefer any appeal in the High Court against them and since Mohd. Shafiuddin and Shahnawaz Gandhi have completed the sentence fully awarded to them by the Trial Court and in the case of Mohd. Abdul Raouf as modified by the High Court, no further interference is made and the appeal against them is dismissed," it added.
The apex court verdict came on petitions filed by the CBI and Gujarat government challenging the acquittal of 12 accused into the murder of Haren Pandya in March 2003.
The top court has overturned the Gujarat High Court order dated August 29, 2011, which acquitted the accused and slammed the investigating agency for a "botched-up" probe.
The top court also dismissed and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on a plea by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking a fresh, court-monitored probe in the case saying several new facts have emerged recently which required fresh investigation into the murder case.
Pandya was a minister of state for home in the then Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. He was shot dead on March 26, 2003, in Ahmedabad near Law Garden area of the city during the morning walk.
The CBI and Gujarat government had filed the appeals questioning the August 29, 2011 acquittal by the Gujarat High Court. The high court had acquitted the 12 persons of the charges of murder, but upheld the trial court's decision to convict them of the charges of criminal conspiracy and for the offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
In June 2007, the trial court had convicted the 12 accused for the murder of Pandya and had awarded punishment ranging from five years to life imprisonment. (ANI)