Seventeen years after his case went into cold storage,Maliram Saharsar,38,was summoned to a Mumbai court on Saturday and sent to judicial custody until a hearing on Monday.
The last hearings had been set during the 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai,when the city was so tense that even some judicial offices came to a standstill for over a month.
Saharsar,a labourer from Rajasthan accused of drug peddling,was out on bail since October 1992. His case came up for hearing on December 6,when Mumbai was under curfew following the Babri demolition. By the next hearing date,January 12,the second rounds of riots had begun.
He came to court but it was shut on both dates. Also,the situation was such that few court employees were at work. Court documents of his case too were misplaced, said defence lawyer Ayaz Khan. Now,a non-bailable warrant was furnished at Saharsars home in Rajasthan. He came to the court on Saturday. He was sent to judicial custody, added Khan.
According to the defence,as the documents were misplaced,the summons had been sent to a wrong address and never reached Saharsar. Only when the case came up for hearing before special NDPS Judge M V Kulkarni did he realise that Saharsar had not turned up after repeated summonses. We have moved an application seeking cancellation of the non-bailable warrant, Khan said.
Saharsar had been arrested on a statement by a co-accused who claimed the former had collected contraband from him in Rajasthan and carried it to Mumbai. No contraband was found with Saharsar and he was let out on bail.
Two accused in NIA case seek legal aid
Two men accused in the first case registered by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in Mumbai have sought legal aid from the special court. Charges are likely to be framed next month.
Mohammed Samad and Mohammed Shaikh,lodged at the Arthur Road prison,are accused of operating a counterfeit currency racket.
Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian said,They informed the court on the last date that they want the state to provide them a lawyer,as they cannot afford a private lawyer. The court has now written to the registrar of the city,civil and sessions court asking its legal aid panel to provide them free legal aid. Legal aid lawyers are paid Rs 900 per case in the sessions court and Rs 2,100 in the High Court.
As per the chargesheet,a person named Shaukat is the kingpin of the currency racket being run by a neighbouring hostile country. The NIA has arrested six persons.