Guj HC Judge Hearing Rahul's Plea Had Defended Kodnani In Riots Case

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Guj HC Judge Hearing Rahul’s Plea Had Defended Kodnani In Riots Case

| Updated: April 29, 2023 15:01

Justice Hemant M. Prachak, who is set to hear Rahul Gandhi’s defamation case on April 29 at the Gujarat High Court, represented former BJP Minister Maya Kodnani, who was charged with crimes related to the Gujarat riots of 2002.

In one of the cases arising out of the riots that occurred in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam areas in February 2002, during which more than a hundred Muslims, including women and children, were killed, Justice Prachak defended Kodnani against the Special SIT court in criminal case number 1708/12. 

Ex-BJP Minister Maya Kodnani

Notably, the Special Court in Gujarat recently cleared everyone who had been charged in the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam cases.

From 2002 to 2007, Hemant Prachak served as an assistant government leader and additional public prosecutor after beginning his career in the Gujarat High Court. After that, between 2015 and 2019, he served as the Central Government Standing Counsel for the High Court of Gujarat before being appointed a judge in 2021.

A Surat Sessions Court on April 20 rejected the application filed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seeking stay on his conviction in the 2019 “Modi surname” defamation case. Judge RP Mogera of the Court of Additional Sessions denied Rahul’s plea for relief, while he appealed the lower court’s decision to sentence him to two years in prison.

Notably, Union home minister Amit Shah’s lawyer in the 2006 Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case was Judge Robin Paul Mogera, who heard Rahul Gandhi’s appeal in a Surat court in the Modi surname defamation case.

Amit Shah in 2006

Rahul Gandhi has appealed to the Gujarat high court after receiving no relief from the Surat Sessions Court. Justice Geeta Gopi had pulled out herself from hearing the defamation case, which was scheduled to be heard in her court on April 27. 

Pankaj Champaneri, Rahul’s lawyer, had filed an urgent hearing request for the criminal revision application. Though she granted the application, Justice Gopi said, “Not before me,” and she then recused herself.

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