After a Hyderabad court observed that there were too many obstacles hindering the possibility of a trial into the May 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) may examine the option of seeking a common court to try all Hindu terror cases.
While giving bail to two accused – Lokesh Sharma and Devendra Gupta – in the Mecca Masjid case, the court of the IV additional metropolitan sessions judge said they had been in judicial custody for nearly two and a half years. The two were never produced in court over the last six months because they were said to be in jails belonging to other states. Two more accused in the case are yet to be held.
One of the accused was released on bail because the NIA had not filed a chargesheet against him. The court noted that these circumstances indicate bleak prospects of commencement of trial and its expeditious completion soon.
At present, the NIA has to stretch its presence over three places – Panchkula for the Samjhauta Express blast case, Hyderabad for the Mecca Masjid blast case, and Jaipur for the Ajmer Dargah Sharif blast case – for hearing the cases. The agency is also saddled with probes into the Malegaon blasts, Modasa explosion and Sunil Joshi murder.
“We will have to examine the court order and look for ways to conduct smooth investigations and trial,” said a senior officer of the NIA.
Despite getting bail, both Lokesh Sharma and Devendra Gupta will remain in judicial custody because they have been chargesheeted in the Ajmer blast case as well.