The Supreme Court today upholds order of the trial court which had convicted 12 accused in former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Panda murder case and quashed High Court order acquitting all the accused in the case. The lower court had awarded them life sentence. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra pronounced the verdict on a filed by the CBI.
A special PoTA (Prevention of Terrorist Activities) court had in 2007 convicted all 12 accused in the case who were awarded life imprisonment but the High Court had set aside the judgment to free all the accused saying the probe was botched up, washed up and blinkered.
The court also dismissed a petition filed by Prashant Bhushan’s Centre for PIL seeking court-monitored fresh investigation into the murder of Pandya and slapped a cost of Rs 50,000 and states that there is no need of re-investigation into the case.
The apex court had on 31 January this year reserved the verdict on the appeals in the matter. Haren Pandya was a minister in the then Narendra Modi-led state government in Gujarat. He was shot dead on March 26, 2003 in Ahmedabad near Law Garden during morning walk. According to the CBI, he was murdered to avenge the 2002 communal riots in the state