The special designate court allowed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Panchkula on Tuesday, to compare the forensic evidences collected in Samjhauta Express train blast case with that of bomb attacks in Malegaon, Hyderabad and Ajmer, in which the role of right-wing Hindu extremists was suspected.
Following a Punjab and Haryana high court direction, the district and sessions judge Subhash Mehla, hearing charges against Swami Aseemanand and four other accused in the 2007 Samjhauta case, said that forensic experts from NIA could examine the sealed material on September 20 and 21. The judge adjourned the case till October 10, when arguments on the charges would be taken up.
Since the proceedings in the case were in-camera, defence counsel Manveer Rathi later told reporters outside the court that forensic experts would come here next week for comparison of material at Sector 5 police lines. He said the court had allowed him to remain present at the time of scrutiny.
The Chandigarh-based senior advocate RK Handa, who was recently appointed special public prosecutor of the NIA in the Samjhauta case, made his first appearance before the court today.
Earlier this month, Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed a petition filed by Aseemanand challenging orders of NIA special judge, Panchkula permitting the agency to unseal the seized material in Samjhauta blast case in the presence of counsel for the accused for comparison. The High Court had also issued directions to the NIA court Panchkula to again fix the dates for the exercise.
It may be recalled that 68 train passengers were killed and 12 injured in the bomb blasts in the Samjhauta Express train near Panipat in Haryana on February 18, 2007.