Mumbai train blasts: SC says accused can’t examine officers

The accused had sought to cite as evidence the confessional statements these officers recorded from three other accused in an Indian Mujahideen-related terror case,to prove they were not responsible for the 2006 train blasts in Mumbai.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published:March 15, 2013 12:34 am

The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside a Bombay High Court order allowing the 13 accused in the July 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts case to examine three senior police officers and a top bureaucrat in their defence.

A Bench led by Justice P Sathasivam held that Kamal Ahmed Mohammed Vakil Ansari and other accused couldn’t be allowed to summon an additional chief secretary,home,and three DCPs in their defence,“as their evidence before the trial court would not fall within the realm of admissibility with reference to ‘facts in issue’ or ‘relevant facts’.”

The accused had sought to cite as evidence the confessional statements these officers recorded from three other accused in an Indian Mujahideen-related terror case,to prove they were not responsible for the 2006 train blasts in Mumbai. They sought to establish that the three suspected IM members,Sadiq Israr Shaikh,Arif Badruddin Shaikh and Ansar Ahmad Badshah,had confessed that they had carried out every blast in the country since 2005 and hence their trial was unwarranted.

“The objective is to achieve exculpation of blameworthiness on basis of the truth of the confessional statements made before witnesses. It needs to be kept in mind that the witnesses sought to be produced in their defence by the accused-respondents cannot vouchsafe the truth or falsity of the confessional statements made by Sadiq,Arif and Badshah,” said the court. “It is indeed the persons who had made such confessions who can do so. Since it is the truthfulness of the confessional statements made before the witnesses which is the real purpose sought to be achieved,we are of the view that only those who had made the confessional statements (Sadiq,Arif and Badshah) can vouchsafe for the same,” it said.

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