The trial in the Aurangabad arms haul case will be taken up only after the ongoing trial in the 2006 serial train blasts case is complete.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected a petition filed by two of the 21 accused in the arms haul case. The petitioners asked the high court to direct the designated MCOCA court to expeditiously conduct their trial by keeping aside the train bombings trial, if required.
A single judge bench of Justice VK Tahailramani disposed of the petition and directed the prosecution to ensure their trial is conducted expeditiously. The judge also directed the MCOCA court to start trial in the petitioners’ case if the train blasts trial is stayed “for some reasons or other”.
Abdul Samad Khan and Mohammed Shareef Shabbir Ahmed had filed the petition from prison seeking directions to the government to appoint another judge to hear cases registered by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and conduct their trial expeditiously.
The accused had contended they had been in custody since their arrest in 2006, and the trial was heading nowhere because there was only one court hearing the cases registered by ATS.
Special public prosecutor Raja Thackeray said no one should be blamed for the delay in the trials because the Supreme Court had stayed them at the instance of the accused.
Thackeray said there is only one judge — YD Shinde — in the state to hear cases registered by the ATS, and he is currently conducting the trial in the train blasts on a day-to-day basis.
When Justice Tahilramani asked if the two trials could be heard simultaneously, Thackeray said it was not possible because the investigating agency was the same [ATS].