Spreading propaganda about terror acts is more lethal than the use of bullets or detonation of IEDs, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday said while rejecting the bail pleas of two Indian Mujahideen members accused in the 2008 Delhi serial blasts case. Justice Ashutosh Kumar dismissed the pleas of Asif Bashiruddin Shaikh and Akbar Ismail Choudhary, both said to be members of the media cell of the banned terror group, holding that he was not inclined to grant the relief while the trial court was yet to complete examination of all the 610 witnesses. The court said a detailed order giving reasons for rejection of the bail would be passed later.
The lawyer for the two accused had claimed that the role attributed to them was that they were part of IM’s media cell which had sent out threat emails after the blasts which claimed 27 lives and injured 135.
He said they were moving the high court for bail for the first time after being arrested in 2008 and sent to judicial custody in March 2009.
The lawyer said that till date only 221 out of the 610 witnesses have been examined despite the trial court exclusively hearing the case on all working Saturdays and it could take a substantial amount of time to examine the rest.
The court, however, said it would be difficult for it to grant the relief sought by the accused at the present stage of proceedings in the trial court.
On the accused’ lawyer’s claim that the duo were only allegedly part of the media cell, the court said, “Dissemination of propaganda in such cases was more lethal than the use of bullets or detonating of an IED.”
Five cases were lodged in connection with the blasts at Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh, Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place and M-Block Market in Greater Kailash and recovery of a bomb near India Gate in September 2008.
All the five cases were clubbed by the trial court for the purpose of framing of charges and trial saying “they arise from the series of same transaction”.
The 13 accused facing trial in the case are Mohd Shakeel, Mohd Saif, Zeeshan Ahmed, Zia-ur-Rehaman, Saquib Nisar, Mohd Sadique, Kayamuddin Kapadia, Mohd Hakim, Mohd Mansoor Ashgar Peerbhoy, Mubin Kadar Sheikh, Asif, Chaudhary and Shahzad Ahmed.