The trial in custodial death case of 2002 Ghatkopar blast accused Sayyed Khwaja Yunus, is likely to begin in February, 12 years after the incident.
Earlier this week, the court rejected an application filed by four policemen accused in the case, seeking a stay on the trial. Sachin Vaze, Rajendra Tiwari, Rajaram Nikam and Sunil Desai had moved the court last April.
In their application, the policemen had stated that Yunus’ mother had approached the Supreme Court against the state government’s decision of not sanctioning the prosecution of 10 of the 14 police officers booked in the case. As the petition is pending before the apex court, the accused pleaded for stay.
The court, however, rejected the application and said that it will begin to hear the trial next month. The prosecution is also scheduled to examine two witnesses, including Dr Abdul Mateen, a co-accused. According to the prosecution, Yunus was tortured in jail and this led to his death in police custody. It further alleged that the policemen had concocted a story of his death.
The police team, which had arrested Yunus and that is now charged with his death, claimed he escaped after the vehicle in which he was being transported met with an accident near Aurangabad in January 2003. However, Abdul Mateen claimed Yunus died as he was being tortured in custody.
Earlier, Yunus’s father, Sayyed Khwaja Ayub, alleged that his son was killed in police custody and filed a habeas corpus petition. Consequently, the court handed over the case to the state CID in March 2003. The CID filed charge sheet against 14 policemen. However, the state government had not sanctioned the prosecution of the 10 accused against which Yunus’ mother moved the apex court.