New Delhi: BJP leader and Naroda Patiya case convict Maya Kodnani, on Tuesday, told a special court, hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case that she could not find the address of BJP president Amit Shah to summon him as a defence witness in the Naroda Gaam case.
Kodnani, who has already been convicted in the Naroda Patiya case and sentenced to 28 years imprisonment, is also an accused in the Naroda Gaam case, where 11 people had lost their lives.
Earlier this year, Maya Kodnani's lawyer had filed an application in the special court, giving a list of defence witnesses that she wanted to be examined as part of the trial. The list also included the name of BJP president Amit Shah.
When the 2002 communal riots happened, Amit Shah was BJP MLA from Sarkhej constituency, while Kodnani was MLA from Naroda constituency. Kodnani claimed in her application that MLAs and other leaders of the BJP had assembled at the Sola Civil Hospital during the time when the Naroda Gaam killings took place.
She had stated in her application that Amit Shah was present at the Sola Civil Hospital where she too was present with other party leaders and hence he should be examined too.
A total of 56 defence witnesses are to be examined during the Naroda Gaam trial. Of these, Maya Kodnani had listed down 11 witnesses that she wanted to be examined. All witnesses sought by Kodnani have been examined except Amit Shah.
Speaking exclusively to News18, Amit Patel, counsel for Maya Kodnani said, "We have the address of Amit Shah’s Ahmedabad house, but he is also the national president of BJP and is not available at the residential address.”
“The application that my client made was limited to the fact that as of now, Amit Shah is not available at his Ahmedabad address," said Kodnani’s counsel.
Patel further added that the court has set a deadline of September 18 to summon Amit Shah as a witness.
When asked about how Kodnani could not trace Amit Shah, given the fact that he is the BJP President and easily accessible to BJP workers and leaders, Patel said, "I cannot comment on that."
Meanwhile, top leaders from Gujarat BJP say that Maya Kodnani filed her application for summoning defence witnesses including Amit Shah without even speaking to them.
According to reports, when Amit Shah learnt that his name has also been included in the list of witnesses to be summoned, he is understood to have expressed anger and displeasure at this and even asked the state party leadership to reprimand Kodnani.