Supreme Court grants bail to 17 convicts in post-Godhra riots, tells them to do community service

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to 17 convicts sentenced to life for the 2002 post-Godhra massacre in which 33 Muslims were burnt alive in Sardarpura area of Gujarat. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant while granting bail asked them to stay out of Gujarat and do community service. The court split the group into two groups. One group would stay in Indore, while the other group will have to relocate themselves to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. The top court told the 14 people to do social service for six hours a week besides reporting to a local police station on a weekly basis. The court directed the District Legal Services Authorities at Indore and Jabalpur to find suitable employment for them to earn their livelihood and to ensure that they observe bail conditions diligently. The bench directed that the convicts would be released on bail after furnishing a bail bond to the tune of Rs 25,000 with one surety of like amount, along with other conditions. The convicts have appealed against the Gujarat High Court order convicting them. Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had acquitted 14 and convicted 17 in the 2002 riot case.