Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case, was granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday. However, he is unlikely to come out of jail as he faces trail in other blast cases as well.
A division bench of Justice S S Saron and Justice Liza Gill said the accused would not commit any offence of similar nature while on bail and that he would be present on all dates of the case in the special NIA court in Panchkula.
The bench also asked Aseemanand to give his contact details to the court and NIA so that he would be accessible. Justice Saron told Aseemanand’s counsel that they should not let the court down for taking this decision. Aseemanand was arrested in three other cases — for the blast at the dargah of Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer in October 2007, Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad in May 2007 and blasts in Malegaon near a mosque in September 2006. He cannot get out of jail until he gets bail in those cases as well.]
Aseemanand’s counsel Satya Pal Jain, who is also a senior BJP leader, said, “We had argued that there are 299 witnesses in the case, of which only 45 have been examined till date. It may take ages for the court to conclude the hearing. So we had requested the court to release him on bail.”
Jain had also argued that Aseemanand is 77-year-old and that there was no direct evidence against him. “Paying money to someone in Gujarat cannot be the basis of blasts in Haryana,” he argued.