Lower court had awarded life sentence which was turned into a 10-year rigorous imprisonment by the High Court
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India has acquitted two Muslim youths who were awarded life sentence by a lower court and 10-year imprisonment by the Gujarat High Court in a 2003 riots case of Ahmedabad.
Charged with killing a non-Muslim and assaulting two others, the lower court had awarded them life sentence which was later turned into a 10-year rigorous imprisonment by the High Court. In the Supreme Court, they were provided legal support by the legal cell of Jamiat Ulama Maharashtra (Arshad Madani group).
Giving details about the case, Gulzar Azmi, head of Jamiat’s legal cell, said that communal clashes had erupted between two communities in Ahmedabad on 6 November 2003. Police had arrested Usman Ghani, Yunus Mohammad and five other Muslims and booked them under different IPC sections.
The lower court had awarded the two youths life sentence. The verdict was challenged in the High Court which turned the life sentence into 10-year rigorous jail sentence. The HC verdict was challenged in the Supreme Court.
On Friday (10th August), a three-judge bench of Supreme Court comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Naveen Sinha and KM Joseph delivered judgment in favor of the two Muslim youths and ordered their acquittal.
Appearing on behalf of the youths, senior advocate Gaurav Agarwal told the apex court that the person for whose murder these youths were sentenced had died four days after the communal clash. Presenting the deceased’s medical reports, the lawyer said that the cause of death is something else but the lower and high court had refused to consider this point.