The Supreme Court today granted bail to a convict serving life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case, noting that he has been in jail for the last 17 years.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha took note of the submission of a lawyer, appearing for one of the convicts, Faruk, that he be granted bail considering the period undergone till now.

The appeals against the conviction of several convicts are pending adjudication in the Apex Court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, said it was "the most heinous offence" in which 59 people, including women and children were burnt alive and there was a need to hear the appeals of the convicts at the earliest.

Faruk along with several others was convicted for pelting stones at the coach of the Sabarmati Express.

Mehta said usually stone pelting is an offence of minor nature. However, in the instant case, the train coach was bolted and stones were pelted to ensure that passengers cannot come out and moreover, stones were thrown at fire tenders also, the law officer said.

On February 27, 2002, 59 people were killed when the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra, triggering riots in the state.

With PTI inputs