JUDGEMENT

Title : Malegaon blast verdict: Court acquits all 9 Muslims accused
Author: 
Special Judge V. V. Patil
Date: 
Monday 25th April 2016 Asia/Kolkata
Synopsis: 
2006 Malegaon bomb blast case, all nine Muslim men accused by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the 2006 Malegaon bombings were acquitted by the court on Monday.

All the nine Muslim men accused - Noorul Huda, Shabbir Ahmed, Raees Ahmed, Salman Farsi, Farogh Magdumi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Mohammed Zahid and Abrar Ahmed - had filed a discharge application earlier.
HIGHLIGHTS: 
On April 25, 2016,  ten years after nine Muslim men were arrested for the 2006 Malegaon blasts, and two years after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the court that it had no evidence against them, a Sessions Court in Mumbai discharged them of all terror charges in the case.Sessions Judge V V Patil declared that the eight men be “set at liberty” — the ninth accused, Shabbir Ahmed, died in an accident early last year — noting that there was not sufficient ground to proceed against them.
The court order comes at a time when cases involving alleged Hindu extremists are falling apart with witnesses turning hostile.
Salient points of the Order:

1. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police tried to build a fictitious case against the accused but failed miserably. Unlike the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took the position of remaining absent fromt he hearings, the ATS argued for the framing of charges against the accused despite the fact that Investigation by the Premier National Investigation Agency (NIA) had an overriding effect on the investigation carried by the ATS and the CBI.

2. Justice VV Patil legally demolished each legal contention or case law cited by the ATS and the terror accused who belonged to the Hindu community. Judge Patil, relying on judicial precedents
arrived at his conclusions

3. The Judge debunked the ATS theory that the Muslim accused wanted to disturb communal harmony of Malegaon and Maharashtra by targeting fellow Muslims. The judge says the best time to conduct such an activity could have been during Ganesh immersion which went off very peacefully in town.
 
4. The entire ruling is based on legal reasoning and evidence placed before the court.

5. Despite these clear findings however the Judge towards the concluding portions of the judgement at page 31 says, "However, it should be mentioned here that the ATS Officers who conducted the investigation were having no animosity with these accused persons to book them in the crime, therefore, in my view as they discharged their public duty but in a wrong way, so they may not be blamed for it".