July 26, 2021 1:00:12 am
A SESSIONS court has refused bail to a man arrested in October 2014 for plotting to attack an American school in Mumbai stating that the charge sheet prima facie discloses his attitude and involvement in anti-national activities.
Anees Ansari, who was 23 at the time of his arrest, had sought temporary bail recently stating that the trial was almost at its fag end and he was booked under sections that could be considered for bail as per the recommendations of the state-appointed high-power committee to decongest jails due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Prima facie there is evidence that the applicant/accused was involved in anti-social activities while doing his job in a private company. No doubt he is well-educated and an intelligent student, there is every possibility to be indulged in similar activities and actions which may cause obstruction to the prosecution case if he is released on bail,” the court said. Ansari was booked on charges including section 115 (abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) read with 302 (murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Information Technology Act.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which arrested Ansari, had claimed that the accused worked at a private company as a technician. It was alleged that he had received multiple warnings from the company for searching on religious topics during office hours on the official device. The ATS also claimed that Ansari had discussed with another wanted accused regarding “jihad” and on a possible “lone-wolf” attack on a city-based school.
Ansari had argued that there was no evidence or charges of his participation or membership in any terrorist organisation.
So far, 22 witnesses have been examined in the case. The prosecution is likely to examine 2-3 more witnesses.
The court on Friday said that the possibility of the accused remaining absent for the remainder of the trial cannot be ruled out. It said that while there was no doubt about the situation of the current Covid-19 pandemic with jails being more vulnerable, but it had to also consider the merits of the case.
“Moreover, the accused does not have any ailment and he is not co-morbid and he is a young man. Therefore, there is no need to consider the application at this juncture. Considering the nature of the allegation, releasing the accused on bail might prejudice the trial,” it said.
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