HC allows 7/11 train blasts convict to appear for law exams from jail | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC allows 7/11 train blasts convict to appear for law exams from jail

BySahyaja MS
Jun 11, 2024 08:16 AM IST

In a first, the Bombay High Court on Monday permitted Mohammed Sajid Marghoob Ansari, a life convict in the 7/11 Mumbai train bombings case, to take his second-semester LLB exams from Nashik central prison where he is currently incarcerated

MUMBAI: In a first, the Bombay High Court on Monday permitted Mohammed Sajid Marghoob Ansari, a life convict in the 7/11 Mumbai train bombings case, to take his second-semester LLB exams from Nashik central prison where he is currently incarcerated. This is the first instance where a convict has been allowed to appear for law exams from within prison premises.

HT Image
HT Image

During the last hearing, a bench of Justices Makarand Karnik and Kamal Khata asked Mumbai University about the feasibility of conducting online exams for Ansari, who missed two of his four papers due to logistical challenges. Following this, the University proposed a solution, allowing Ansari to sit for his exams in the jail.

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On Monday, a division bench of Justices Bharti Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande approved the suggestion of a joint committee constituted by Mumbai University and Anti-Terrosrsim Squad, to let Ansari take his “Family Law” examination on June 12 from a designated room within the jail.

According to the court’s order, the question paper will be emailed to the jail superintendent 15 minutes before the exam. The document will be downloaded and signed by both the Jail superintendent and the invigilator.

An invigilator from Siddharth Law College, where Ansari is enrolled, will supervise the examination, arriving at the jail an hour before the examination starts. Ansari will have two hours to complete the exam, after which his answer sheet will be sealed and delivered to the college principal. Additionally, three security personnel will be present to ensure the safety of all concerned.

The court also addressed the broader issues faced by inmates enrolled in professional courses, choosing to keep the petition active for further deliberation. According to the state it costs approximately 81,000 per prisoner to escort them to examination centres.

Ansari, convicted in September 2015 for his role in the July 11, 2006, Mumbai train bombings that killed 189 people and injured 824, had sought permission to take his law exams held by Siddharth Law College from May 3 to May 15. The court initially allowed him to attend the exams in person, instructing Nashik Central Prison authorities to transport him to the college on exam dates.

However, Ansari filed an application on May 10, stating he missed the exams on May 3 and 9 despite the court’s permission. The prosecution cited genuine efforts by prison authorities but acknowledged they failed to transport him on time. The court then asked the prison superintendent to explain the delay by June 5 and questioned Mumbai University about online exam options, which were unavailable at the time.

Given the unique circumstances and security concerns, the High Court suggested the candidate might need to appear online. They requested the University, in consultation with the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, to clarify this possibility and consider rescheduling the missed exams.

Ansari pursued further education during his 17 years of imprisonment, previously obtaining court permission to study law and sit for his first semester exams in 2023. Despite opposition from the prosecution, citing Ansari as a high-risk prisoner convicted of serious charges, the High Court had granted him permission to continue his studies.

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