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Verdict on transfer of Gujarat riots case reserved

Gandhinagar, July 15 (Calcutta Tube) The Gujarat High Court Thursday reserved its order on a petition seeking transfer of the Gulberg Society massacre case during the 2002 Gujarat riots from the judge hearing it due to his alleged ‘biased behaviour’.

Petitioner Imtiyazkhan Pathan and others, who are witnesses and victims of the 2002 riots, filed a petition before the court seeking a transfer of the case from the court of judge B.U. Joshi.

Sixty-nine people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed in the Gulberg Society at Ahmedabad during the 2002 communal riots that followed the Godhra train carnage.

Earlier in January, the petitioners had moved Ahmedabad principal sessions judge G.B. Shah with the same plea but the court rejected the petition on jurisdictional grounds.

Judge Shah directed them to move the high court, pointing out that the sessions court could not change judges of special courts as these were constituted by the high court at the behest of the Supreme Court.

A single judge bench of the high court admitted the petition but later transferred it to a division bench.

Earlier, two special public prosecutors, R.K. Shah and Nayna Bhatt, had resigned from the case alleging ‘non-cooperation and biased behaviour’ during the trial.

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