Ex-Infosys engineer’s bail upheld by apex court

The Bombay High Court had granted bail on September 24 last year to Iqbal.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: September 4, 2013 12:40:32 am

In a setback to the Maharashtra government,the Supreme Court Monday dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the state government challenging the bail granted to ex-Infosys engineer Mohammed Ateeq Mohammed Iqbal,an alleged member of the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

The Bombay High Court had granted bail on September 24 last year to Iqbal,a 30-year-old former computer engineer with Infosys who was arrested by Mumbai Police Crime Branch in October 2008 for allegedly being a member of the IM.

The prosecution had argued that Ateeq,a resident of Yavatmal district who worked in Pune,attended discussions and a dinner organised by wanted IM operatives Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal on the evening of the serial blasts.

Granting him bail for Rs 50,000,the High Court had said: “Mere presence at a discussion or a dinner party cannot amount to membership of an organised crime syndicate (OCS) or a terrorist organisation.”

The Supreme Court while dismissing the state government’s SLP observed,“We are not inclined to entertain the special leave petition since the order of enlargement on bail has been passed one year ago and nothing has been pointed out to show that the accused has misused the bail.”

Of the 23 alleged IM members accused in the case,Iqbal is the third to secure bail.

The Supreme Court however clarified that the observation made by the High Court while granting bail to the accused were prima facie in nature.

“However,the observations made by the High Court regarding the nature of the crime and the applicability of the various Acts shall be treated as only prima facie and shall not influence in any way in the trial. The trial be expedited,” the apex court said in its order Monday.

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