A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to Bilal Ahmed Kawa, a suspected LeT operative, arrested recently in connection with the 2000 Red Fort attack case, noting that all accused in the case, who were facing more serious charges, have either been acquitted or discharged and the “theory of conspiracy” could not be established by the prosecution.
Kawa was arrested from Terminal-3 of the Delhi airport on January 10 during a joint-operation by the Delhi Police and the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma also took on record the Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed by Kawa, which, according to the accused, showed that he was not absconding. The court asked Kawa to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of the like amount.
The court directed him not to hamper the investigation and join the probe whenever asked by the Delhi Police.
Giving relief, the court observed that there have been more serious allegations against the other accused, who have been discharged or acquitted. These allegations included giving shelter and cash deposits in bank accounts to facilitate terrorist activities. Considering the facts and circumstances, the documents, including the ITRs and the report of the local SHO from Srinagar sent to learned CJM, and that the accused has no previous criminal antecedents, the case was found fit for grant of bail.
Eleven people were arrested in connection with the case, out of which,10 were discharged or acquitted either by the trial court or the Delhi High Court. Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq of the Pakistan-based terror group LeT was the only one convicted and awarded death sentence, which was upheld by the Supreme Court.
The apex court later stayed the execution of Ashfaq’s death sentence after he filed a fresh petition, seeking reconsideration of his review petition, which was not heard in the open court, as mandated by a judgment of a top court Constitution bench.
Additional Public Prosecutor has opposed the bail application, arguing that the accused, in conspiracy with the other accused, conducted attack on Red Fort. He said that the accused gave his bank account and Rs 10 lakh were deposited in his account to carry out terrorist attacks in Delhi.