Khwaja Yunus custodial death: Bombay HC seeks state's reply on plea on adding 4 cops as accused

The Bombay High Court has sought the response of the State Government among others in a plea filed by Asiya Begum in connection with the custodial death case of her son Khwaja Yunus.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, January 16, 2023, 09:26 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has sought the response of the State Government among others in a plea filed by Asiya Begum in connection with the custodial death case of her son Khwaja Yunus. The plea is against an order of the trial court of September last year rejecting her application to add four policemen as accused.

Ms Begum had contended in her plea before the HC that while the apex court had directed the trial court to decide the plea by the prosecution seeking to add the four as accused, the court had, instead, permitted the prosecution to withdraw the plea.

The plea to add the four policemen as accused had been made by the earlier special public prosecutor Dhiraj Mirajkar in the case based on the evidence of a prime witness who had testified regarding their involvement. Mr Mirajkar was later removed from the case. The new prosecutor appointed in the case had made the plea to withdraw the previous plea. This plea the trial court had permitted. Alongside, it had also rejected a plea of Ms Begum to add the four as accused.

Ms Begum said in her plea before the HC that the sessions court judge had committed an error and gross injustice in passing the order of September 7 last year. She said that the court had failed to appreciate that the prosecution had filed the earlier plea based on witness evidence. The HC will hear the matter next on Jan 25.

Yunus, a 27-year-old software engineer, was arrested in connection with the 2002 Ghatkopar blast. He was last seen alive on Jan 6, 2003. While those arrested with him claim he was brutally assaulted while in custody, the police team led by controversial policeman Sachin Vaze, now dismissed, claimed he escaped from their custody when a jeep they were ferrying him in for investigation met with an accident. A probe later that was initiated on a petition by Ms Begum found that the police claim was false and charged policemen including Vaze with his murder.

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