August 31, 2018 4:01:25 pm
The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday granted bail to two former RSS pracharaks who are lodged in jail in connection with the Ajmer bomb blast case.
A bench of Justices M N Bhandari and Dinesh Chandra Somani granted bail following arguments by advocate Manoj Sharma and others, who said that they had been sentenced on circumstantial evidence.
On March 22 last year, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel, now 42 and 40 years old respectively, were sentenced to life by a Special NIA court, which also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 on them, respectively.
Judge Dinesh Gupta had ruled out a death sentence citing mitigating circumstances, including the fact that the two had not been involved in any criminal activity prior to the blasts; they hadn’t been shown to be a constant menace to society; and they had been found guilty by drawing inferences from circumstantial evidence.
“In the (NIA) judgment, it has been said, time and again, that they are being convicted on the basis of ‘human probability’. So, we argued that if circumstantial evidence is made a basis for conviction, then it should be beyond reasonable doubt. We said that it was contrary to criminal jurisprudence and that they were convicted merely on conjectures,” advocate Sharma said.
Sharma was accompanied by advocates J S Rana and Abhishek Sharma. For the NIA, Public Prosecutor Ashwini Sharma opposed the bail plea saying that there is sufficient evidence on which they were convicted.
While Devendra has been lodged in Jaipur Central Jail since 2010, Bhavesh has been behind bars since 2013. Three people had died and 15 were injured in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blasts.
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