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Haren Pandya murder: SC convicts all 12 accused, reverses order of High Court

By Anuj Cariappa
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New Delhi, July 05: The Supreme Court on Friday convicted all the 12 accused in the 2003 Haren Pandya murder case. The court ordered the conviction, while setting aside the order of the High Court, which had exonerated all of them.

While ordering the conviction, the court sentenced all accused to a life term. It may be recalled that the trial court had convicted all the accused in the case.

File photo of Supreme Court

However the Gujarat High Court had reversed the order of the trial court, while acquitting all the accused persons.

Pandya was minister in the then Narendra Modi-led state government in Gujarat. He was shot dead on March 26, 2003 in Ahmedabad near Law Garden when he was out on his morning walk.

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According to the CBI, he was murdered to avenge the 2002 communal riots in the state. The appeals were filed by the CBI and the state police questioning the August 29, 2011 acquittal by the Gujarat High Court as being erroneous.

The high court, while acquitting the 12 persons of the charges of murder, had upheld the trial court's decision to convict them of the charges of criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder and for the offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

The Supreme Court had on January 31 this year reserved the verdict on the appeals in the matter.

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