The Supreme Court on Tuesday, disposed of 10 pleas related to the 2002 Gujarat riots. The pleas included an appeal by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and an NGO—Citizens for Justice and Peace. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the SIT. He stated that only one case related to the Naroda Gaon area was still pending.
Best Bakery case
The Best Bakery murder trial received wide attention after witnesses retracted testimony in court resulting in the acquittal of all the accused. The SC, acting on a petition by social activist Teesta Setalvad, ordered a retrial outside Gujarat in which nine accused were found guilty in 2006. Key witness, Zaheera Sheikh, who repeatedly changed her testimony was found guilty of perjury.
Bilkis Bano case
After police dismissed the case against her assailants, Bilkis Bano approached the NHRC and petitioned the Supreme Court seeking a reinvestigation. The court granted the motion, directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the investigation. Charges were filed in a Mumbai court against 19 people as well as six police officials and a government doctor over their role in the initial investigations.
In January 2008, 11 men were sentenced to life imprisonment for rapes and murders. The Bombay High Court upheld the life imprisonment of the 11 men on May 8, 2017.
On August 15, 2022, the 11 men sentenced to life imprisonment in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case were released from a Godhra jail by the Gujarat government. Two days after the remission, Bilkis Bano issued a statement expressing her grief at the release of her rapists.
On August 18, 2022, around 6,000 signatories urged the Supreme Court to revoke the early release of the rapists. A few days later, the Supreme Court agreed to look into a plea challenging the release. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Ajay Rastogi, and Justice Vikram Nath however posed a query concerning the legal bar on grant of remission to the convicts.
Avdhoot Nagar case
In 2005, the Vadodara fast-track court acquitted 108 people accused of murdering two youths during a mob attack on a group of displaced Muslims returning under police escort to their homes in Avdhootnagar.
Nine people were convicted of killing a Hindu man and injuring another during group clashes in Danilimda, Ahmedabad, on April 12, 2005, while 25 others were acquitted.
Eight people, including a VHP leader and a member of the BJP, were convicted for the murder of seven members of a family and the rape of two minor girls in the village of Eral in Panchmahal district.
Pavagadh and Dhikva case
Fifty-two people from Pavagadh and Dhikva villages in Panchmahal district were acquitted of rioting charges for lack of evidence.
Godhra train-burning case
The stringent anti-terror law, POTA, was used by the Gujarat government to charge 131 people in connection to the Godhra train fire but was not invoked in prosecuting any of the accused in the post-Godhra riots. In February 2011, a special fast-track court convicted 31 Muslims for the Godhra train burning incident.
Dipda Darwaza case
On November 9, 2011, a court in Ahmedabad sentenced 31 Hindus to life imprisonment for murdering dozens of Muslims by burning a building in which they took shelter. Forty-one Hindus were acquitted of murder charges due to a lack of evidence. Twenty-two others were convicted for attempted murder on July 30, 2012, while 61 others were acquitted.
Naroda Patiya massacre
On July 29, 2012, an Indian court convicted 30 people in the Naroda Patiya massacre. The convicted included former state minister Maya Kodnani and Hindu leader Babu Bajrangi. The court case began in 2009, and over 300 people testified before the court. Teesta Setalvad, “For the first time, this judgment goes beyond neighbourhood perpetrators and goes up to political conspiracy. This is a huge victory for justice.”
In April 2009, the SIT submitted before the Court that Teesta Setalvad had cooked up cases of violence. The SIT, headed by former CBI director RK Raghavan, said that false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents by Setalvad and other NGOs.