Serial train blasts trial resumes after two years
A month after the Supreme Court vacated the stay on the 2006 serial train blasts trial, 13 alleged accused were produced before the designated Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court via video-conferencing.Updated: May 25, 2010 01:37 IST
A month after the Supreme Court vacated the stay on the 2006 serial train blasts trial, 13 alleged accused were produced before the designated Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court via video-conferencing.
The Supreme Court had stayed the trial February 2008 after three alleged accused had filed a petition saying MCOCA was not applicable in the case.
“On Monday, all accused were produced through video-conferencing and the court adjourned the case till June 14,” said special public prosecutor Raja Thackeray.
On July 11, 2006, seven RDX bombs exploded in the first-class compartments of Mumbai suburban trains, killing 188 people and injuring 817 others.
The train blasts took place between Khar Road and Santacruz stations, Bandra and Khar stations, Jogeshwari station and Mahim Junction, Mira Road and Bhayander stations, Matunga station and Mahim junction and at Borivli station.
Thackeray said the special court has directed the jail officials to produce the accused on the next date of hearing. “The court also told the accused to keep their lawyers ready by June 14,” said Thackeray.
Unlike other two trials that were vacated by the Supreme Court in April – the 2006 Malegoan blast case and the Aurangabad arms haul case — the special MCOCA court had started recording the statements of the witnesses — one witness had even deposed before the court — in the serial train blasts case.
Alleged accused Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman Sheikh (32), Shabeer Ahmed Masiullah (36) and Mohammed Muzaffar Mohammed Tanveer (24) had contended that Section 2(e) of MCOCA, which deals with promoting insurgency, be struck down as the matter is covered by the Union government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Act, (UAPA) 2004.
They had contended that Article 254 of the Constitution of India states that if there is any conflict between a state law and a Central law, the latter will prevail.
In June 2007, they approached the Bombay High Court challenging the applicability of the MCOCA.
However, the high court dismissed the petition in July 2007, stating that in normal cases the Union Act prevails over a state law, but there are exceptions.
They had then challenged the order before the Supreme Court in August 2007. The Supreme Court stayed the trial after admitting their appeal on February 2008. The SC dismissed the petition on April 23.
First Published: May 24, 2010 20:45 IST