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A NON-BAILABLE warrant has been issued against a senior police officer for not being present in court despite issuing a summons in the November 26, 2008, terror attack trial against accused Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal. The officer, Manishi Chandra, an Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Special Cell, Delhi, had arrested Ansari in 2012.
The warrant was issued on Thursday. During a hearing on October 13, the court had issued summons to him to be present before it on November 2 for recording his evidence as a witness.
The court had also issued summons to the Registrar, Patiala Court, New Delhi, to produce documents pertaining to Ansari for the trial on Thursday.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam on Thursday produced a record on a fax from Chandra stating he is busy with some investigations.
The court was also sent a communication by the court officer in Delhi that since he received information that the witness is not attending the court, he, too, was not producing the documents that had been sought.
Special Judge Govind A Sanap rapped the police officer, observing that he had “disobeyed” the summons and that the grounds for non-attendance are “totally unacceptable”.
“I am satisfied on perusal of the record that the witness has avoided attending this court without any sound reason. The witness has not only avoided to attend the court but informed the officer of the court of the additional sessions court, Patiala House, New Delhi, that he will not be attending court. It seems that the witness and the officer of the court decided unilaterally that the hearing of the matter should not go on. In my view, this is a very serious wrong on their part,” the court observed.
The judge further added that both had “directly or indirectly attempted to interfere with the proceedings by not attending the same”.
The court said the accused being an undertrial prisoner, the police officer should have given preference to giving his evidence, over other matters.
The court said it deemed it proper for a warrant to be issued, even as Nikam sought a last chance. The court has directed the court officer in Delhi to produce the documents as per the summons during the next date.
Ansari, arrested in 2012, is currently the lone accused facing trial for 26/11 and had allegedly coordinated the attacks sitting in a control room in Karachi. Ansari’s advocate, Wahab Khan, had earlier submitted that Chandra had seized the documents pertaining to the accused, which were necessary to establish the identity of the accused. The court had observed that the documents were “relevant” to the case.
The documents include original seizure panchnama, a Pakistani passport, a national identity card issued by the government of Pakistan, a green-coloured card, which bears Ansari’s photograph and the arrest memo.
The Special Cell, which had arrested Ansari from the Delhi international airport in 2012, claimed that he was
travelling to India with a Pakistani passport.