Punching holes in the CBI’s claim that Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon was arrested from a Delhi railway station on August 5, 1994, Special TADA judge P D Kode in his judgment says that the investigating agency has “not come clean before the court” on his arrest and “is suppressing truth from the court”.
Yakub was sentenced to death on July 27 for his role as one of the key conspirators in the 1993 serial blasts case. His brothers, Essa and Yusuf, and sister-in-law Rubeena were sentenced to life. The Memons, including Yakub, who is currently lodged in Nashik Jail, have been summoned on Thursday to receive a copy of the judgment.
Yakub, since his arrest in 1994, has been claiming that he had surrendered before the CBI on July 28, 1994, eight days before he was “arrested”. Even in his statement after he was convicted, he said, “I gathered my strength and returned to India on July 28, 1994. The same day I surrendered to the authorities.” But the CBI had claimed that they had arrested Yakub on a “tip-off” that a “terrorist” is on the prowl in Delhi and will be coming near a Delhi railway station.
Though the judge has not commented on Yakub’s claims, he has clearly denounced the CBI’s “arrest” story. In a stinging criticism of the CBI’s investigation in Yakub’s case, the judgment says, “…in real life a person cannot be said to have appeared to such a place (Delhi) from the air. It is also absurd that the investigating agency would not have carried out the investigation regarding the said aspect.” The fact that the CBI could not collect any evidence on from where Yakub reached Delhi “clearly exposes the falsity of the prosecution claim,” the judgment says.
Pointing out “serious lacunae” in the “prosecution tale” and the evidence of prosecution witness (PW) 474 (the then SP, CBI, Special Task Force (STF), H C Singh), the court states that it is clearly indicated “that the prosecution has not come clean before the court and is suppressing truth from the court.”
The CBI which claimed to have seized a suitcase full of “incriminating” documents, including Yakub’s Pakistani passport, never produced them before the court. Thus the relevant evidence miserably fails to establish that he was apprehended at Delhi railway station on the date and time as claimed by the prosecution and that the articles as alleged were seized from him, the judgment says.
While explaining reasons for sentencing Yakub to death, the judge says, “.. it is a universally known fact that such a clever criminal not only always remains at the back but always takes care that they remain away from the clutches of law.”
On Tuesday, though it was the turn of the Memons—Essa, Rubeena and Yusuf—to receive the copy of the judgment, they had to return without it. So far, 34 convicts have been handed over their copies of the judgment by the court.
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