The special SIT court hearing the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre will pronounce on June 17, the quantum of punishment for 24 convicted in connection with the killing of 69 people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. After arguments on the quantum of sentence came to an end with the final submission by prosecution on Friday, the special SIT court Judge P B Desai had adjourned the hearing to June 13. However, the court was not fully convinced with the submissions and said that there exists no straight jacket formula to decide about the compensation in such cases.
The prosecution has sought nothing less than death sentence or jail term till death for all the convicts while the defence lawyers contested that the incident was spontaneous and there were enough provocations for it. During the trial, riots victim's lawyer had argued that the massacre was a pre-planned criminal conspiracy hatched by the accused to kill minority community members of the Gulberg Society. The defence had refuted the conspiracy theory of prosecution and claimed that the mob resorted to violence only after slain Congress MP Eshan Jafri fired several rounds on them.
The Gulberg Society case is one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court appointed SIT. The incident had taken place a day after S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra train station, where in 58 'karsevaks' were killed.