Lack of evidence, failure to match in evidence, inability to establish conspiracy or produce chain of events. These were the key points that led to the acquittal of the 10 accused in the bomb blast that led to two deaths at the Hyderabad Commissioner’s task force office in Begumpet on October 12, 2005.
During trial, the prosecution had claimed that the bomb was carried by a Bangladeshi national Daleen in his backpack. It went off when a policeman on guard duty at the office was checking the bag, it said. But this is what the order, delivered on Thursday by A Srinivasa Rao, judge of the Seventh Additional Metropolitan Sessions Court, stated:
No evidence: No evidence that alleged key conspirator Mohammed Abdul Kaleem had accompanied alleged bomber Daleen to the office in Begumpet. Kaleem had retracted his confession that he and Daleen went in an autorickshaw to Greenlands near Begumpet, where he waited while Daleen went inside the office. The prosecution could not establish Kaleem’s link with Daleen.
Evidence mismatch: Explosive substance collected from the spot was not matched with the small quantity of explosives allegedly found in the possession of Mohammed Shakeel Ahmed, a mechanic from Laad Bazaar, and Syed Haji, a resident of Moosarambagh and salesman at a book store. Police had submitted that ammonium nitrate was found at the crime scene and also seized from the two accused. The recovered substance was neither kept sealed nor sent for forensic examination immediately after it was seized, leaving room for tampering and doubt.
Conspiracy: Failure to establish conspiracy involving all accused. No evidence was produced to support the conspiracy, or that the accused knew each other or communicated and conspired with each other.
Circumstantial evidence: The case hinged on circumstantial evidence but the prosecution could not produce the chain of events or evidence. The chain of witnesses, some from Hyderabad and Bidar, was also broken because their testimonies did not support the prosecution’s case.
When the judge read out the order, there was stunned silence and disbelief among the accused. They did not anticipate it. Apparently, neither did their relatives who didn’t turn up in court, except for the cousin of one of the accused.