May 20, 2021 1:44:09 am
A special court on Tuesday rejected an application filed by a terror accused in the triple blasts case of July 13, 2011, seeking to be produced physically before it for framing of charges.
The court rejected the plea of Ajaz Saeed Shaikh – who is currently lodged at Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai but has been sentenced to death in another case in Hyderabad – stating that given the pandemic, no prejudice will be caused to him if he is not produced physically in court.
Maintaining that many other accused are insisting on being physically produced before the court, special judge R R Bhosale said in his order: “The matter is quite old. Frequent directions have been issued earlier for proceeding expeditiously. Various other accused persons are, however, not cooperating for framing of charges on similar grounds as that of the present applicant (Shaikh), insisting on their physical presence before the court. The observations made in this application are applicable to the concerned co-accused persons also. They all must follow legal recourse and cooperate with the court…”
On July 13, 2011, 27 people had died in three serial blasts that occurred at Dada, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House in Mumbai. Nearly 10 years since then, the trial in the case is yet to begin with framing of charges pending against some of the accused.
The accused in the case include persons booked in multiple cases and are lodged in prisons across the country, including Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal. Some have been insisting on being allowed to be present in the court while charges are framed against them.
Shaikh had moved an application through his lawyer Hasnain Kazi stating that while he was produced before the court till 2018, he has not been brought to the court for a long time.
The prosecution, through Special Public Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam, submitted that a general order was passed by the state government under Section 268 of the Criminal Procedure Code, through which it is empowered to not bring Shaikh to court since he is a convict facing death sentence in another case and proceedings are continuing through video conference.
The court, while asking Shaikh to cooperate, asked the prison authorities to ensure he attends its proceedings through video conference.
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