Dismissing the review petitions against its July 5 judgement, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of nine people involved in the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya. Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Vineet Saran in an order dated November 19, stated that "The order, of which review has been sought, does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration. The review petitions are, accordingly, dismissed”.
Haren Pandya was a minister of state for home under the chief ministership of Narendra Modi in Gujarat. He was shot dead on March 26, 2003, during a morning walk near Ahmedabad's law garden area. According to the CBI, prior to Pandya's killing, the convicts had made an attempt to kill local VHP leader Jagdish Tewari on March 11, 2003.
According to the CBI, Pandya was killed to avenge the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. The appeals in the apex court were filed by the CBI and the state police, claiming that the August 29, 2011 order of acquittal by the Gujarat High Court was erroneous. The central agency had claimed that the two incidents were the result of a single conspiracy to spread terror among people in the aftermath of the Godhra riots.
The apex court, in July, convicted twelve people in this case, however, nine of them were sentenced for life imprisonment after setting aside their acquittal by the Gujarat High Court. The remaining three were sentenced to varying terms depending on the offences committed by them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in 2007. Back in July, the Supreme Court bench of justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran, however, dismissed a PIL filed by NGO "Centre for Public Interest Litigation" (CPIL) seeking a court-monitored fresh probe in the Pandya murder case.