The defence, which concluded its arguments Tuesday, claimed the narco-analysis on the 7/11 serial blasts convicts was carried out not once but twice by a doctor who was not a qualified practitioner and was later prosecuted for forgery. The prosecution, meanwhile, began its arguments, saying the charges against the convicts were very serious.
“Dr Malini had submitted forged documents and got the position. She has been prosecuted for forgery. It (narco-analysis) was done without proper qualification. It was like asking a layman to perform surgery. Is it not the job of the prosecution to ensure that it is done by a qualified person?” argued defense counsel Dr Yug Mohit Chaudhry.
He said repeated administration of three types of narcotics, as a part of such analysis, elicited a “violent” response from the bodies of all convicts.
Resuming his arguments Tuesday, Chaudhry said if one were to go by the prosecution’s case, it was Azam Cheema, a Pakistani national and alleged ISI operative who was the mastermind behind the blasts. All the 12 accused were mere “foot soldiers”, he argued. He questioned if they could be labelled as “most culpable” or “blameworthy” if they had merely acted as “delivery boys”.
In the 1993 blasts case, he said, the Supreme Court had considered the socio-economic background, illnesses and custody period as mitigating factors and commuted death sentence of 10 accused to life term. The same, he stressed, needed to be considered in the 7/11 case.
Nine years was a long time and all the convicts had shown their conduct had been exemplary, the defense argued. “Court is well aware that mobile phones are available, conspiracies are hatched inside prison. But there is no such allegation in this case,” argued Chaudhry.
He also argued that the onus of nullifying the possibility of the convicts’ reformation relied squarely on the prosecution. The prosecution, however, not only not produce the report of the probationary officer, but also opposed its production, argued Chaudhry. According to the defence, the officer is a state government employee and his report could have exhibited the convicts’ conduct.
Soon after the defence concluded its arguments, special public prosecutor Raja Thakare initiated his arguments on behalf of the prosecution. He argued how after obtaining training in Pakistan, all the convicts executed the conspiracy, which led to 189 people being killed and leaving 825 injured.
“There was loss to the public exchequer and public property, which ran into Rs 22 crore. Fear psychosis was created in the minds of people, especially commuters of suburban railways. The agony and shock people suffered is incalculable,” said Thakare.
It was not a “single”, “isolated” incident, he said, adding that it was a “systematic plan” to plant seven bombs with “extreme precision” to create utter chaos and confusion among the helpless and defenseless victims.
“The offences in the case are to be looked into from various angles – motive, pre-planned conspiracy, position of victims vis-a-vis the accused,” he argued. Also, it was argued that given the impact of the crime on society at large, a message required to be given to such wrongdoers so they are deterred from even entertaining the thoughts of carrying out such acts.
“The offences were against the entire state to strike terror and disturb the even tempo of the community as also to cause breach of public order,” Thakare said.
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