Pandya Murder: CBI Likely to Challenge Guj HC Order

New Delhi
Pandya Murder: CBI Likely to Challenge Guj HC Order
The CBI is considering to challenge in the Supreme Court the Gujarat High Court order acquitting 12 accused in the Haren Pandya murder case.

The high court in its August 29 order partly allowed the appeals of the 12 accused, acquitting them from the charges of murder while convicting them under section of criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder of IPC and relevant sections of Arms Act and POTA.

"The high court order is being examined by CBI for filing a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court against the order of the Gujarat High Court for partial acquittal of the accused persons," CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said here today.

The former Gujarat home minister was shot dead on March 26, 2003 from a close range in Law Garden area of Ahmedabad and CBI took over investigation of the case.

"Prior to this offence, an attempt was made on the life of a local VHP leader named Jagdish Tewari on March 11, 2003," she said.

According to Mishra, during investigation, CBI arrested 15 accused persons and on interrogation, it emerged that these two incidents were part of a single conspiracy to spread terror among people in the aftermath of the post-Godhra riots.

"The offenders were illegally sent to Pakistan by absconding accused Rasul Parti and Mufti Sufiyan Patangia (currently based in Pakistan) and trained at the behest of ISI of Pakistan," she said.

The agency filed a common charge sheet on September 8 against 19 accused persons (including four absconders) in special POTA court, Ahmedabad.

"As four accused were absconding and other three accused persons were exonerated from charges of POTA by Central POTA Review Committee, therefore, trial proceeded against 12 accused only," she said in a statement.

The special court convicted all the accused for murder, criminal conspiracy and under relevant sections of POTA and Arms Act also.

"Out of 12 accused persons, nine were sentenced to life imprisonment, two for seven years rigorous and one was awarded sentence of five years. All these accused persons filed appeals before Gujarat High Court immediately thereafter," she said.
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