The Gujarat high court on July 31 dismissed the plea of Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) to stay the bail granted to Maya Kodnani. The former Gujarat minister who was convicted in the Naroda Patia rioting case was released on bail from Sabarmati prison in the afternoon. Later, she got herself readmitted in the Civil Hospital — this time not as a prisoner but as a regular patient suffering from multiple ailments. The SIT had filed a petition seeking a stay on the bail a day after the high court allowed it to go in appeal to the Supreme Court.
The delayed action on the SIT’s part rendered its petition infructuous and the high court turned it down. “The bail order has been executed and the convict released on bail. Therefore, the application has become infructuous,” said the bench of Justice V M Sahai and Justice R P Dholaria. In 2012, special SIT court judge Jyotsna Yagnik had found Kodnani guilty along with 31 others. Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment in 2012 by the court which had named her as the ‘kingpin’ of the Naroda Patia massacre of 2002 in which 97 people were killed.
For the past three months, she was admitted in the Civil Hospital for treatment of serious illnesses including intestinal TB, sciatica and acute depression. On July 31 morning, she went from the hospital to the Sabarmati prison and around noon, she was formally released from the jail on regular bail. “Maya Kodnani’s husband, Dr Surendra Kodnani, had come to take her from the jail,” said jail superintendent RC Bhagoriya. CIvil Hospital officials said that Kodnani had told them that she would return to be re-admitted in the public hospital for treatment. “She is now in the special ward as a regular patient.
On July 31, changes would be made in her admission and she would be referred for medical and psychiatric treatment as well,” a top official of the Civil Hospital said. Doctors attending on Kodnani said she suffers from intestinal TB for which she will be on medicine for nine months. “For her severe depression, which borders on suicidal tendencies, she had to be given shock therapy twice.
However, her family did not agree to more shocks for her after she bit her tongue once. She has been put on strong anti-depressants. She also suffers from severe backache with radiating pain in the leg and she is being treated for that as well,” said one of the doctors. Regarding the delay by the SIT in filing a petition for stay on the bail granted to Kodnani, legal experts are of the opinion that a prosecuting agency or any litigant usually demands a stay on an order immediately after the order is pronounced.
The courts sometimes grants relief merely on oral submission by lawyers, but the SIT chose to raise this issue a day later, said the experts. On July 30 morning, SIT’s special prosecutor mentioned the case before the court which asked it to come up with an application. The SIT was not even prepared with papers in the morning.
Maya Kodnani walks free after HC rejects plea for stay on bail