A special MCOCA court in Mumbai has granted bail to 32-year-old Akil Ismail Momin, arraigned as an accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, who languished in jail for almost eight years. It was the case of the prosecution that after the recovery of the weapons in Aurangabad, Momin allegedly left Beed and went to various places, including Nepal, along with a prime accused, Abdul Samad. Moreover, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) alleged that according to call data records, Momin was present for conspiracy meetings held by the other accused in the case.
Momin through his lawyer, Tahera Qureshi, told the court that apart from the “alleged confessional statement” of Samad, in which he allegedly termed Momin as an accomplice, there was no other substantive evidence against him in the chargesheet.
Momin also maintained that Samad’s confession statement had already been retracted in the special court in the first instance. “Samad has also denied the applicant’s (Momin) knowledge of the conspiracy, his presence at the alleged conspiracy meetings and his consequent involvement in the alleged offences,” the bail plea read.
In addition, Qureshi argued that there was no telephonic record in the chargesheet which established that the applicant was in contact with any of the other accused in the case.
“Momin is the fifth accused in the case who has secured bail. The court has directed him to pay Rs 1 lakh as surety and not to tamper with evidence,” said Qureshi.
The special public prosecutor, Vabhao Bagade said “prima facie” there was a case made against Momin. “The trial is almost over and the court had rejected his bail earlier,” said Bagade as grounds for objecting the bail plea.
On May 8, 2006, a Maharashtra ATS team had chased a Tata Sumo and an Indica car on Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad and arrested three terror suspects and seized 30 kg RDX, 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 3,200 bullets from their possession.
The ATS had arrested Beed-native Momin in June 2006 and booked him under various sections of the Arms Act and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). The Bombay High Court had rejected Momin’s bail plea in 2011.