Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wait gets longer for 23 accused



Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Even as the Centre has asked all states to speed up trials in terror cases, a special judge hearing the case of 23 suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives accused of sending terror emails has been transferred, delaying the case further. S D Kulkarni is the sixth judge hearing the case in the past four-and-a-half years. The charges are yet to be framed against the accused.
    The 23 accused were arrested after the 2008 Gujarat blasts. The Mumbai crime branch made the arrests claiming the accused were responsible for sending terror emails to various TV news channels, claiming responsibility for the blasts. One of the accused, Mohammed Ateeque, is out on bail.
    Last month, TOI had reported that a principal sessions judge had asked the special MCOCA court to start the trial of the IM operatives. In the past, judges Swapna Joshi, Prithviraj Chavann and Y D Shinde, among others, have been transferred.
    The accused had earlier urged that their case be heard fast. “It’s been four-and-a-halfyears but the court has not even framed charges yet. We had approached the principal sessions judge who ordered that the case will be heard in a MCOCA court. However, this transfer has further delayed the trial,” said advocate Shahid Nadeem Ansari, who is representing the accused.
    SM Modak, a MCOCA judge hearing the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, has also been transferred. There are 22 accused in the case. It’s been seven years and the court has heard only four of the 247 witnesses till date. In this case the police arrested a doctor, a teacher, two engineers and several business management students.
    The accused in both the cases had moved to SC two years ago for a speedy trial, following which the apex court told the Maharashtra government to start trial in the arms hauls case within 45 days. However, the case was not handed over to any judge for the next 14 months.
2002 Mumbai Central, blast at McDonald’s | 25 injured. Trial yet to be completed
2003 Mulund train blast | 11 killed. Out of the 17 arrested, 15 got bail, one behind bars, one passed away. Charges are yet to be framed
2003 Vile Parle blast | One killed, several injured. Trial yet to be completed  
2006 7/11 train bombings | 188 killed, 817 injured. Trial
yet to be completed

The Times of India, June 19, 2013

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