The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a plea of suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists, accused of triggering serial blasts in five state capitals in 2008, for clubbing and shifting of the cases to the national capital.
Nine of them, now lodged in central jail at Sabarmati in Gujarat, filed the petition on the ground that their constitutional right to speedy trial was being compromised.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan sought responses from governments of Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra which have altogether lodged 52 FIRs against them for serial blasts that had rocked respective capitals in 2008, leaving scores of people dead and injured.
"What to say about speedy trial of petitioners - accused persons, though a period of about more than 18 months have passed, in most of the cases the charge sheets are yet to be filed," said the petition, filed through advocate M S Khan.
The petition contended that it may not be possible for the prosecuting agencies of different states to complete trials during the lifetime of the accused.
The hearing of the petition assumed significance in the backdrop of statements of political leaders seeking fast-tracking of trials in the serial blasts cases.
IM suspects, Zia-Ur-Rehman, Mohd. Shakeel, Mohd. Saif, Zeeshan Ahmed, Saqib Nisar, Mohd. Mansoor Asgar Peerbhoy, Mubin Kadar Shaikh, Asif Bashirudding Shaikh and Mohd. Akbar Ismail Chaudhary, have together filed the petition.