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Above: Former minister and BJP leader Maya Kodnani

Former minister and BJP leader Maya Kodnani’s last hope is a possible deposition in her defence by BJP president Amit Shah. At least that is what she wants. All her other witnesses in defence have been examined and her last hope is Shah.

Kodnani has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for her active role in the 2002 Godhra riots where 100 Muslims were massacred in three days and also in the February 28, 2002 slaying of 11 Muslims in the adjacent Naroda Gram.

Witnesses have said that she was seen handing out swords and urging her people to go and murder, while she herself once fired a pistol in the air.

Kodnani, however, has claimed that she was with Shah at the time, first at the Gujarat assembly and then at her own hospital. This could act as her biggest alibi.

A special trial court in Gandhinagar has told her that she has till Tuesday (September 12) to get Shah to court and testify in her favour. Kodnani had been asked to produce Shah on Friday itself, but she had asked for ten more days, trying to explain to the court that she was not sure at which address the summons should be sent, explaining that Shah was a busy man and difficult to get in touch with.

The court, however, gave her time till Monday (September 11) to serve the summons and get Shah to depose the very next day.

Kodnani, a gynaecologist herself, was granted bail in 2014 on health grounds and the Supreme Court has directed that the trial must be completed within four months.

India Legal Bureau

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