The father of a victim in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Nisar Ahmed Sayed Bilal, has written to the chief justice of the Bombay high court, requesting that the tenure of the special judge presiding over the blast case be extended till the trial is completed. As per the annual general transfer order, the judge is to be posted at Ahmednagar.
Nisar Ahmed’s son, Sayed Azhar, was killed in the blast that took place on September 29, 2008. He is an intervener in the case. In a letter dated April 16, he has written that Special Judge P R Sitre has been hearing the matter on a day-to-day basis and has kept vigil against the tactics of some accused who tried to prolong the trial. He said that for a decade after the blast that took place in 2008, the matter was moving at a snail’s pace and Judge Sitre’s predecessor, V S Padalkar, immediately proceeded with the trial and Judge Sitre too continued to hear the matter in all fairness and objectivity.
The application, filed through advocate Shahid Nadeem, further stated that many high-profile persons are accused in the case and despite the lockdown and efforts of some of the accused to derail the trial, Judge Sitre has examined more than 100 witnesses since taking charge from his predecessor.
The letter said that the judge was fully conversant with the record of the case and any new presiding officer would take time to come to terms with it as the record of the case runs into thousands of pages. It said further that 246 witnesses had already been examined and there were just a few remaining to be examined.
The judge has been conducting the trial in a praiseworthy manner, surmounting the influence of some accused, the letter stated. “Every day he sits on the dais at 11 sharp and starts the proceedings despite little cooperation from some of the accused and the NIA, who have allegedly used every tactic to slow the trial,” it added.
“That undersigned victim along with other sufferers of the blast have vested full faith in the judiciary of the country and believe that although justice has been delayed, it will not be denied to them,” the father’s letter read, while requesting that the tenure of the special judge be extended in the interests of justice.