A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Panchkula on Tuesday rejected the bail application of Kamal Chauhan, an accused in the Samjhauta Express blasts case.
Two explosions had killed 68 people on the Lahore-bound train near Panipat on February 18, 2007. Chauhan had allegedly planted one of the four bombs.
"We are going to file an appeal against the order in the high court. The application for extending the period (from 90 to 180 days) to file the charge sheet was moved in the absence of the accused and his counsel. Even the investigation file was not called for at that time. We are also challenging this order in the high court," Chauhan's counsel Naveen Kaushik told HT.
The order for extending the deadline was passed on May 9 by the then NIA special judge Subhas Mehla, who was transferred recently.
NIA counsels RK Handa and Rajan Malhotra submitted that "the applicant (Chauhan) is not entitled to bail in this case since there is prima facie a strong case against him, which brings out the involvement of the accused.
"One Shivam Dhakad, an independent witness whose statement has been recorded by the NIA, brings out the role of the accused in the matter of acquiring training in the preparation of explosives, the type of which have been used in the Samjhauta blasts.
"The accused, if he gets bail, may tamper with the oral evidence so far collected by influencing witnesses in retracting their stand and may also hinder the collection of some more material by the investigating agency to arrive at a just and fair conclusion of the case."
After hearing both arguments, the special NIA judge, additional district and sessions judge Kanchan Mahi, dismissed the bail application. The detailed order citing the grounds is yet to come out.
Meanwhile, the order on Chauhan's application about his allegedly illegal custody has been fixed for June 11.
Chauhan's father Radhey Shyam had moved an application stating that the NIA had kept his son in illegal detention from February 10 to 12, when he was shown to be arrested from Noida. He added that his son was subjected to custodial violence by the NIA.