The state government has moved the Bombay high court seeking to prosecute Riyaz Ahmed Sidhiqui, an accused-turned-approver in the Pradip Jain murder case.
The state has made Riyaz Ahmed Sidhiqui and Abu Salem, among others, party to the petition. It has challenged the trial court's decision labeling Sidhiqui as a hostile witness even though he had turned approver and had received conditional pardon. Sidhiqui had turned approver on July 18, 2007 before the TADA court and accepted pardon under section 307 of CrPC. The pardon was tendered on a strict condition that he should disclose full, true and correct facts to unearth the criminal conspiracy behind Jain's murder.
However, Sidhiqui breached the conditions and saying he did not wish to depose about the conspiracy behind the murder. The special public prosecutor then forfeited the pardon in September 2008 and sought to prosecute the approver separately for criminal conspiracy and murder. However, the designated court held Sidhiqui as a hostile witness, instead of treating him as an accused.
The state moved the high court and subsequently, the Supreme Court for relief. The apex court observed that the designated court erred in treating Sidhiqui as hostile witness. According to state's petition, the supreme court observed that the trial court failed to consider that the pardon granted was conditional and once forfeited, he was relegated to the position of an accused.
According to additional public prosecutor Mankunwar Deshmukh, the state has urged the court to set aside Sidhiqui’s pardon. The matter has been adjourned for two weeks.