Lawyer says one Godhra convict was minor at time of incident

Ahmedabad, Feb 25 (PTI) A defence lawyer in the 2002Godhra train burning case today contended that one of the 31convicts in the case was a minor when the incident took placeand thus would fall under the juvenile category.

"I have orally submitted before court today thatIbrahim Abdul Samol, who has been shown as a 20 year old incase records when arrested on September 1, 2004, was minor atthe time of Godhra train burning incident (February 28,2002),"advocate A A Hassan who is representing Samol said.

He made the request today when the court met to hearthe prosecution and defence to decide on the quantum ofpunishment for the 31 accused who were pronounced guilty formurder and criminal conspiracy on Tuesday. Sixty three personswere acquitted by the court in the case.

"I have relied on the case records and arrest memo bythe investigating officer while making the submission," theadvocate added.

According to Hassan, if Samol was 20 at the time ofarrest on September 1, 2004, then at the time of the incidentin February 2002, he would be below 18, that is, a minor, andhence would fall under the category of juvenile.

"I have requested the court to enquire into the age ofSamol at the time of incident. The court has said that itwould be passing necessary orders on March 1," he said.

The court today reserved pronouncing of quantum ofpunishment in the case for March 1.

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