Bombay high court rejects terror suspect’s plea to retain trial before same judge
Ansari moved the HC after the sessions judge on June 19 rejected his plea to transfer his case to court room number 27, where the judge who presided over his trial earlier, has been transferred.Updated: Sep 08, 2019 02:02 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday rejected the plea of a 28-year-old geographic engineer, who sought to retain his trial before the same judge who has conducted it so far. The accused, Anees Shakil Ahmed Ansari, is being tried for allegedly plotting an attack on a school at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).
Ansari moved the HC after the sessions judge on June 19 rejected his plea to transfer his case to court room number 27, where the judge who presided over his trial earlier, has been transferred. Ansari said as most of the witnesses have been examined by the earlier presiding officer, who was transferred to court room number 27 in April and only the investigating officers were to be examined in the case, the trial be retained with the same judge.
Assistant public prosecutor NB Patil opposed his plea by pointing out that 10 more witnesses were yet to be examined and no prejudice would be caused to Ansari if they were examined by the presiding officer of court room number 17, where the trial is pending.
Patil also said that lower court judges are routinely transferred after every three years and such requests cannot be acceded to. He said the new presiding officer will continue the trial from the stage which his predecessor has left.
Justice SS Shinde accepted the prosecutor’s contention and rejected Ansari’s plea stating that if such requests were to be entertained, then the courts would be flooded with such pleas.
The Maharashtra Anti Terrorists Squad (ATS) has alleged that Ansari had, in connivance with another accused, Omar Elhaj, hatched a conspiracy to commit a “lone wolf attack” on a school at BKC and he had procured information on making of a bomb in furtherance of the conspiracy.