The Special NIA court here Thursday adjourned the hearing in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case to March 18 due to an ongoing strike by local lawyers.
Special Judge Jagdeep Singh deferred the hearing because of the strike, NIA counsel Rajan Malhotra said. “We were not allowed to enter the court complex by the protesting advocates,” said Malhotra, adding the matter was adjourned to March 18.
The NIA was expected to file a response in the case to an application seeking permission to allow deposition of Pakistani witnesses in the trial.
Local lawyers went on an indefinite strike on March 12 in protest against a judicial officier’s alleged misbehaviour with an advocate. The lawyer or the protest is not connected to the Samjhauta blast case.
The special NIA court on March 11 had deferred its verdict in the case to Thursday after one Rahila Wakil, the daughter of blast victim and Pakistani national Muhammad Wakil, moved an application under Section 311 CrPC. In the application, she claimed that no proper summons were sent to 13 Pakistani witnesses. Taking her plea on record, the court had issued a notice to NIA seeking its response.
The blast in Samjhauta Express near Panipat on February 18, 2007, had ripped apart two coaches, killing 68 people, including 43 Pakistani nationals.