The state has called an application by a convict in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts case seeking an reinvestigation, as a ‘dilatory tactic’ to delay the sentence confirmation proceedings.
The convict Ehtesham Siddiqui, now lodged in Nagpur Central Prison, was sentenced to death in 2015 by a special court. His sentence is awaiting confirmation at the Bombay High Court. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) - the prosecution in the case, on Friday submitted a response before a special court through prosecutor Awadhut Chimalker, in which it called his plea ‘untenable’. The response said that the court has already signed and pronounced the judgment and hence its mandate has expired.
The response said further that the investigation is the prerogative of the investigating agency and the court does not have the authority to direct it to further probe a matter.
In another plea filed shortly after this plea, Siddiqui had sought an inquiry into a police report regarding the suicidal death of an absconding accused Abdul Razzak.
The response mentioned further that in addition to 192 prosecution witnesses, 51 defence witnesses had also testified, including Siddiqui who himself deposed as a defence witness. The prosecution said Siddiqui is at liberty to place his grievances before the HC where his sentence is pending confirmation. It sought that his pleas be rejected as “baseless” and “frivolous”.
Siddiqui in his plea seeking reinvestigation had stated that as per the probe conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the train blasts were conducted by members of the Indian Mujahideen. He contended that the ATS despite having knowledge of this, has not conducted any further investigation on this aspect or submitted any report before the court. He also pointed out that an absconding accused Abdul Razzak had died of suicide in Hyderabad in 2012 and the ATS had not submitted any chargesheet regarding him. He said that the conduct of ATS officers shows they are not interested to carry out further investigation on the involvement of the wanted accused or the IM and alleged that this was so as the real truth regarding the fabrication of evidence by them will come out in a reinvestigation. He had sought that in the interest of justice, he said it is necessary that the further pending investigation be conducted by the NIA.