Updated: December 17, 2021 8:30:19 am
A special court recently rejected the bail plea filed by a man who has spent 13 years in jail on allegations of being a member of the banned terror group Indian Mujahideen (IM). The trial in the case is yet to begin.
Mubeen Kadar Shaikh filed the bail plea last month on grounds, including that the trial is yet to begin, and hence, is not likely to be completed in the near future.
Shaikh is one among the 26 people booked in the case, 14 among whom are behind bars. The prosecution has claimed that an email was sent to media organisations on August 23, 2008, claiming responsibility for the Gujarat serial bomb blasts that had taken place on July 26 in the same year.
The Mumbai Police has claimed that the emails were sent by using the WiFi network of a city-based college. A month later, Shaikh was arrested, with the police claiming that incriminating material in the form of laptop and hard disk was recovered from him. The police also claimed that he is a member of the IM media cell.
The prosecution has claimed that it was not its fault that the trial had not commenced and hence, its benefit cannot be given to the accused. The special court said that in a writ petition filed by one of the accused in the case before the Bombay High Court seeking to expedite the trial, the HC has considered that other cases against some of the accused are still pending, including those in connection to the Gujarat blasts. The prosecution has claimed that the trial had not commenced, as Shaikh’s presence could not be procured because he was facing trial in other courts.
“…the hon’ble high court had considered the other matters, which were pending against the applicant and the co-accused and accordingly, the relief claimed for was refused,” Special Judge Dinesh E Kothalikar said. The HC has said the Gujarat cases are still pending and after they are decided, the accused can renew their request to expedite the trial.
On other grounds submitted by Shaikh to seek bail, the court said that there were confessional statements of the accused that can be relied upon as evidence.
The prosecution has said that it cannot be looked at only as an act of sending terror email but involved the security of the state. It has also claimed that Shaikh had undergone training to hack websites in Hyderabad as per instructions of Riyaz Bhatkal, the IM co-founder.
Shaikh has denied the allegations, stating that apart from retracted confessions, no evidence has been submitted by the police.
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