A special court pronounced the quantum of punishment and sent 11 culprits to the gallows and gave life imprisonment to 20 others for the Godhra carnage. The tone and tenor of reactions over the judgment is mixed. A certain section of the people has welcomed the verdict, while others have rubbished it. The judgments of the courts should be by and large accepted, however, there are some issues on which people’s opinions vary. Generally, a court’s decision on big issue like this is challenged in the Apex Court, so will the Godhra judgment be? But the concern is that there should not be any unwarranted delay in the proceedings going by the gravity of the case. A special court found that a plot was hatched to burn the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express carrying kar sevaks who were returning from Ayodhya. However, the prosecution failed to furnish witnesses against the kingpin of the Godhra pogrom. This seems a paradox in the case. The Godhra case is repleted with conflicting facts. While the Banerjee Committee came out with report that fire accidently broke out in the Sabarmati Express, the Nanawati panel revealed that torching the train was pre-planned. There was also a deliberate bid to prove it as an accident with the help of highly motivated investigative probe.

As the reports meandered through topsy- turvy path, there is an urgent need to review the special court judgment. One may not agree with the court’s decision but it does not mean that its  functioning should be put in the dock, just because few people have their misgivings and report to international forums crying foul. If the final verdict on the Godhra carnage comes from the Supreme Court and High Court soon, it will spread the message of the investigation being flawless discouraging those who had their reservations about the court functioning.