Jaipur Blasts Case- Rajasthan HC Expresses Surprise At Police Arresting An Accused Soon After His Release From 12 Yrs Custody & Acquittal In 8 Other Similar Cases

first_imgTop StoriesJaipur Blasts Case- Rajasthan HC Expresses Surprise At Police Arresting An Accused Soon After His Release From 12 Yrs Custody & Acquittal In 8 Other Similar Cases Manu Sebastian27 Feb 2021 9:58 PMShare This – xThe ordeal of Shahbaz Ahmad, who was denied freedom from prison despite his acquittal in cases related to Jaipur blasts of 2008, makes a mockery of the cherished fundamental right to personal liberty guaranteed under our Constitution.Recently, the Rajasthan High Court was shocked to learn that Shahbaz Ahmad(48), who has been under custody since 2008, was arrested again in a case related to…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe ordeal of Shahbaz Ahmad, who was denied freedom from prison despite his acquittal in cases related to Jaipur blasts of 2008, makes a mockery of the cherished fundamental right to personal liberty guaranteed under our Constitution.Recently, the Rajasthan High Court was shocked to learn that Shahbaz Ahmad(48), who has been under custody since 2008, was arrested again in a case related to Jaipur blasts, although he was found innocent in 8 other similar cases registered in relation to the blasts.It was on December 18, 2019 that a Special Court at Jaipur designated to try Jaipur blast cases acquitted Ahmad in eight cases, saying that the prosecution “totally failed” to prove the accusations against him.  The Special Court sentenced four other accused persons to death after finding them guilty for the 2008 blasts which killed 71 persons and injured over 200 persons.The only allegation made by the Prosecution to link Ahmad – originally a native of Lucknow- to the blasts was that he had sent an email from a cyber cafe on behalf of Indian Mujahideen to TV channels about the incident. However, the Trial Court rejected the Prosecution case against Ahmad and held that he had no links with the other accused and that no e-mail was proved to have been sent by him.Exactly a week after the acquittal orders, on December 25, 2019, the Rajasthan police recorded the arrest of Ahmad in another FIR registered in 2008 in connection with the blasts – which had been kept dormant all that while without filing chargesheet.In June 2020, the police submitted chargesheet in this FIR. Ahmad filed an application in the trial court seeking discharge from the case on the ground of ‘double jeopardy’ under Article 20(2), Section 300 CrPC and 71 IPC, saying that the allegations were same and identical as the other cases in which he was acquitted after trial.While that application was pending, he sought regular bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Sessions Court rejected bail. Following that he approached the High Court.High Court expresses surpriseThe High Court expressed surprise at the fact that Ahmad was not arrested in the case for 12 years although he was under custody all that while.”It is indeed surprising that when the petitioner was languishing in jail(I am using the term “languishing” because petitioner remained in custody for twelve years and ultimately found not guilty in all these cases) as to why the petitioner was not arrested in this case when he remained in custody for twelve years”, a single bench of Justice Pankaj Bhandari observed while granting him bail in the case.The bail order records that when the bench asked the State as to why Ahmad was not arrested in the FIR during his 12 years custody in the other cases, the Additional Advocate General was “clueless”.”Learned Additional Advocate General was not in a position to apprise the Court as to why petitioner has been arrested in the present F.I.R. when he was held not guilty in eight similar FIRs”, the High Court observed in the order.Ahmad’s lawyers, Advocates Mujahid Ahmed and Nishant Vyas, argued that there was no legitimate reason for the arrest and that the same was made only to prolong his custody.”Considering the contentions put forth by counsel for the petitioner and taking note of the fact that the present FIR is akin to the eight F.I.Rs. in which the petitioner has been found not guilty, I deem it proper to allow the bail application”, the High Court said.The High Court allowed him bail on condition to furnish a personal bond of Rupees One Lakh and two sureties in the sum on Rs 50,000 each. Thus, the Court paved the way for uniting Ahmad with his wife and three children from who he was kept away by the State for over 12 years without proving any guilt.Supreme Court interventionTo get a complete picture of the story, it is necessary to mention an intervention made by the Supreme Court last month with respect to another FIR registered against Ahmad in 2019.That FIR was registered alleging that Ahmad had assaulted prison officials to obstruct a search by them. However, Ahmad claimed that it was he who was the victim of prison torture.On January 27, 2020, the Rajasthan High Court denied him bail. Following that, he approached the Supreme Court.On January 8, 2021, the Supreme Court observed that the peculiar facts and circumstances of the instant case, particularly the fact that the Petitioner had suffered 11 injuries in custody, justified the grant of bail to him. Not stopping there, the SC bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose directed the State Government to conduct a fact-finding inquiry by a Senior IAS Officer of the State cadre into Aman’s complaint of prison torture and to take appropriate action against the jail/police officers/officials who would be found guilty in such inquiry. Recently, the Supreme Court in the case Arnab Manoranjan Goswami v Union of India had observed that “deprivation of liberty even for a single day is a day too many” and that “criminal law should not become a weapon for selective harassment of citizens”.However, cases such as Shahbaz Ahmad show that an ordinary citizen will have to fight long and strenuous legal battles to secure the basic freedom of personal liberty.Click here to read/download the orderNext Storylast_img


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *