A sessions court in Mumbai on Wednesday added Pakistan-born US national David Coleman Headley as an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case and asked the Mumbai police to arrange for his deposition through video conferencing.
“The application of the prosecution is allowed to add Headley as an accused in the case.” judge GA Sanap said in his order on an application moved by the Mumbai police.
Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the court that Headley had not been tried by any Indian court under Indian laws for his role in the terror attack that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead.
He argued that American courts were not competent to try offences under the Indian Penal Code and said he should be made an accused in the 2008 case in India.
The court had recently framed charges against Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal who according to police was allegedly present in the control room in Pakistan and was issuing directions to the attackers of Nariman House.
The prosecution in its application moved on October 8 said that Headley, who recced Mumbai ahead of the attack by the Lashkar e Toiba operatives in November 2008, should be made an accused along with Jundal.
The police sought the court’s permission to write to the US department of justice as Headley had been convicted in the US and is serving a 35-year jail term for his role in the 26/11 attack. Judge Sanap directed them to arrange for Headley’s deposition on December 10.
On several trips to India, Headley had carried out a recce of some of the locations, including Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Hotel Trident, that were targeted by the Pakistani terrorists who sneaked into Mumbai. In 2009, he again travelled to India and recced more locations in other cities including New Delhi.
( with agency inputs)