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Accused in 2006 serial train blasts case claims he is being tried for same offence twice

Ali is facing trial under sections 10 and 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly being a member of an unlawful association (SIMI) and for unlawful activities.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
Updated: August 27, 2019 9:42:04 am
Mohammed Ali was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015.

A day before the sessions court will give its judgment in the 2006 case against two men allegedly from the banned terror outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), one of the two accused has moved court stating he has faced trial for the same offences twice. Mohammed Ali, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015 for his role in the 2006 case, has filed an application before the court that though he was convicted in that case, he is being tried again for the same offence.

Ali is facing trial under sections 10 and 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly being a member of an unlawful association (SIMI) and for unlawful activities. He has claimed he was already convicted and sentenced to punishment for these two offences by the court, which conducted the trial in the 2006 blasts case, based on the same evidence submitted in the present case. Ali was sentenced to two years under section 10 and seven years under section 13 of the UAPA in 2015 along with life imprisonment on other charges.

In the present case, which is slated for judgment on Tuesday, the prosecution has claimed that officials of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch had received information that members of SIMI were likely to carry out unlawful activities during the Ganesh festival. Based on this information, the police arrested Shabbir Rehmatullah and Nafis Ahmad from Malegaon and Govandi respectively. The police further sought custody of Ali, who was already arrested for the 2006 blasts, claiming that he had undergone training in Pakistan in 2003 at the instance of Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal.

Ali has claimed in the plea that there are ‘undistinguishable circumstances’ in both the cases, including his confession in the 2006 case that he used to meet Bhatkal at Kurla Pipe Road, that he had received training in Pakistan, had given instigating speeches and that he had helped Rehmatullah and Ahmad to go to Pakistan. He has also claimed that two witnesses, who deposed on these facts in the 2006 case, also deposed in the present case.

“The applicant (Ali) states that the material produced by the prosecution, the witnesses examined, the allegations in the chargesheet, directly align with the offences he was convicted under, in the MCOCA Special case..(train blasts),” the application filed through lawyers Sharif Sheikh and Hetali Sheth states. It further claims that the facts and circumstances in both the cases are ‘identical’.

The plea claims that being tried for the same offence subsequent to being convicted is a violation of his Constitutional right under Article 20 (2), which safeguards a person from double jeopardy or being prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once. The trial in the present case has concluded and the court had kept the case for judgment. The application is likely to be heard on Tuesday. Ali’s other co-accused, Rehmatullah, passed away pending trial and Ahmad is currently out on bail. Ali and others convicted in the 2006 blasts case have filed an appeal against their conviction before the Bombay High Court.

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