Before it delivered its verdict acquitting the four accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case, the special NIA court Wednesday rejected an application filed on behalf of a Pakistani resident by a local advocate for summoning Pakistani witnesses. The court said it “is nothing but an effort to seek publicity… and is apparently an effort to get the matter prolonged”.
On March 11, when the court was expected to pronounce its verdict, an application was filed by advocate Momin Malik on behalf of Rahila Wakil, daughter of blast victim Muhammad Wakil, and a resident of Hafizabad in Pakistan Punjab. The court sought response of the NIA and the accused. The NIA said summons were issued to 13 Pakistani witnesses on three occasions through the Pakistan High Commission but there was no response. It also said it could not vouch for authenticity of the application since Wakil was not in the list of cited witnesses or those examined by agencies including Haryana Police.
In its order, the court said the application had not been signed by the “so called applicant” Wakil, and that it had not even been filed by the 13 Pakistani witnesses cited by the NIA. Wakil herself was not a cited witness in the case and was in Pakistan at the time of occurrence, the court said. The court also perused the previously recorded statements of the 13 Pakistani witnesses. Among the witnesses, the court said, Abdul Javed, Hukamdeen, Mohammad Asif, Imran Khan were not on the train and were simply associated with the probe for identification of bodies.
Other witnesses — Abdul Qayyum, Kamrudeen, Ashok Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Mohd. Nadeem, Mohd. Shakeel — who were on the train, had stated “they did not know about the incident as to how it happened.”
“Therefore, even for the sake of argument, judicial notice of such statements is taken… no further help is going to be rendered to the prosecution case,” the court said. It said the application on behalf of Wakil “is nothing but an effort to seek publicity in the name of espousing some noble cause and bare perusal of the records would reveal that application lacks bonafide and is apparently an effort to get the matter prolonged for the reasons best known to the concerned person”.