Source – hindustantimes.com
The Supreme Court has dismissed review petitions challenging the conviction of 12 people in the 2003 murder of former Gujarat home minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Haren Pandya.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran upheld their judgment of July 5, 2019 convicting the 12 persons. The order, passed on November 19 and made public on Thursday, read: “We have perused the Review Petitions and record of the appeals and are convinced that the order, of which review has been sought, does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration. The Review Petitions are accordingly dismissed.”
Pandya was found shot to death inside his car in Ahmedabad on March 26, 2003. The matter was initially investigated by the Gujarat police, but the probe was subsequently handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A separate case concerning an attempt to murder Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Jagdish Tiwari was also heard along with the Haren Pandya murder case because of allegations that both cases arose out of same conspiracy.
In June 2007, a special court convicted the 12 people of murdering Pandya and attempting to murder Tiwari.
The convicts then appealed to the Gujarat high court, which overturned the verdict of the trial court and acquitted all 12 of the charges of murdering Pandya. Their conviction for the attempt to murder Tiwari and possession of illegal arms was, however, upheld. The high court also criticised the CBI for a flawed investigation, terming it “blinkered” and a waste of public resources.
The CBI and the state of Gujarat then appealed to the Supreme Court, which overturned the Gujarat high court verdict.