11, May 2018 | CJP Team
A Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court has upheld the sentence of 19 people in the Ode Massacre. 23 people were burnt alive in the anti-Muslim violence that took place in Ode in Anand District in Gujarat. The incident took place on March 1, 2002, just two days after the Godhra train burning incident.
Of the original 47 accused in the Ode massacre, one person died during the trial. In 2012, a special trial court had found 23 people guilty and sentenced 18 of them to life imprisonment. The remaining five had been sentenced to 7 years in prison. While the convicts had appealed against the judgment the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case had also challenged the acquittals and demanded an enhancement of sentence for the 5 who were sentenced to only 7 years.
CJP has been supporting the legal battle for the survivors of the Ode massacre. We have been a part of this quest for justice and have seen it through, not only during the special court’s judgment in 2012, but also in the Gujarat High Court. Read more about the Ode case and our work in this matter here.
The judgment of the Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court passed on May 11, 2018 may be read here:
CJP Secretary Teesta Setalvad had pointed out several discrepancies in the police investigation. These may be read here:
Here is the original chargesheet in the case:
On Friday, a Division Bench of the Gujarat HC not only upheld the 23 original acquittals, but also acquitted 3 more people. However, the sentences of 19 of the convicts remained unchanged. This includes 14 people who had been awarded life sentences.
Advocate Suhel Tirmizi who assisted in the trial said, “This happened because of the courage of the survivors supported by Teesta Setalvad and her organization CJP, and its team of lawyers who imparted their knowledge and assisted the trial court that appreciated the evidence and convicted the accused. The Gujarat High Court has almost confirmed the judgment except acquitting 3 of them.”
Here is the complete set of documents related to this case: