Naroda Gam case: Court allows Kodnani to travel out of Gujarat for six months

Maya Kodnani. (file)

A special SIT court, which is hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam riots case, on Monday allowed former minister and accused Maya Kodnani to travel out of Gujarat for six months.

Kodnani had filed an application in the court seeking modification of her bail condition. SIT officials said that Kodnani had sought relief, saying that she needs to travel out of Gujarat several times, and hence her bail condition should be modified.

The SIT, however, opposed the plea arguing that she could go for a particular time only after informing the court. "In her regular bail plea she had stated that she would comply any order passed by the court. Based on this reason, she was granted bail on the condition that she won't leave Gujarat," an SIT officer said.

Kodnani's lawyer Amit Patel, however, argued before the court that if the bail condition could not be deleted, she should at least be allowed relief for a year or six months. Special judge M K Dave then partially allowed the bail modification application, and permitted Kodnani to travel outside Gujarat for six months.

The court said that she could travel out of Gujarat only after informing the Special Investigation Team (SIT). This comes after bail modification application of several other co-accused in the case were allowed by the court.

Kodnani is facing the trial along with 81 more accused in the case, which is at the stage of final argument. Eleven persons belonging to the Muslim community were killed in the Naroda Gam area of Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002 during the post-Godhra riots. Last year, she was acquitted in the Naroda Patiya massacre by the Gujarat High Court. After her acquittal, the former BJP minister has become active in social spheres. She was last seen sharing the stage with Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani and other women leaders of the BJP at a public function in Gandhinagar last month.