High court curbs on trial in 2008 Delhi blasts cases

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The recording of evidence in five cases related to the 2008 serial blasts was Wednesday stayed by the Delhi High Court on a plea filed by an accused.

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    Accused Mohd Shakeel also sought quashing of an administrative order that transferred the trial of all the five cases related to the blasts to another court.

    A division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Nazmi Waziri said that the additional sessions judge, before whom the terror cases had been transferred by an administrative order of the high court Aug 3, will not record the testimonies of prosecution witnesses.

    Accused Mohd Shakeel, through advocate M.S. Khan, approached the high court saying that the administrative order to transfer trials in all five cases to another court would cause delay and prejudice to 13 alleged Indian Mujahideen suspects.

    The judges also issued notice to high court registrar on the plea of the accused questioning the transfer order’s notification.

    Counsel M.S. Khan, representing seven suspects, said: “It is in the interests of justice that the judge who has had the advantage of seeing the evidence first-hand and of examining all the relevant witnesses, is allowed to conclude the trial and adjudicate the guilt or innocence of the petitioner.”

    Besides Shakeel, 12 others are facing trial in five separate cases for their alleged involvement in the Sep 13, 2008, blasts at Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, India Gate and Greater Kailash within a span of 31 minutes, that killed 26 people and injured over 100 others.