It was just another case, I was never under pressure, says Ganatra


Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra is a man of few words. On Thursday, as the jam-packed courtroom waited for his judgment for five hours, he came all of a sudden and said, "Hoon tamne agad javano chance aapi rahyo chhu. (I am giving you a chance to go ahead)." And returned to his chamber. This was an indication that he had rejected Zakia Jafri's protest petition against the SIT closure report.

For 50-year-old Ganatra this was a "complicated case" and the most publicised one in his 13-year-long career in the judiciary. His 440-page judgment provoked Chief Minister Narendra Modi to write a 1,000-word blog describing the verdict as an "end" of Gujarat's 12-year long trial by fire.

Ganatra says this was one of three major judgments he has delivered since his appointment as a Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) in 2000 in Bhuj.

Soon after pronouncing Friday's judgment Ganatra wrote to the Ahmedabad police commissioner asking for security cover for three to four days. "I am neither scared nor do I think there is any danger. I asked for security cover just for precaution," he said when asked whether he is facing any danger.

In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express, Ganatra said, "It was a complicated case, but I started reading the case papers since the day it was placed before me".

On the judgment, Ganatra said, "I am not supposed to reveal what all it took to write the judgment. All I can say is that this (case) was just another case for me and I was never under any pressure."

Ganatra started his career as lawyer after completing LLB from Junagadh College, Saurashtra University. He hails from Jetpur in Rajkot district. Instead of looking after his family business (saree manufacturing), Ganatra chose to practise law and went on to become judicial magistrate.

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