Police faces tough time in court on evidence against LeT bomb expert Tunda

Delhi Police faced searching questions from local court which asked whether any new evidence has emerged against LeT bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda named in charge sheet recovery of explosives in 1994.

New Delhi: Delhi Police on Thursday faced some searching questions from a local court which asked whether any new evidence has emerged against top LeT bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda who has been named in a charge sheet in a 1994 case relating to recovery of explosives substance here.
The court asked the Special Cell of Delhi Police whether it has covered the grounds on which five co-accused were earlier acquitted by a court here under the provisions of stringent law Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) in the case.

Police had recently filed a supplementary charge sheet against Tunda under the provisions of TADA and other offences.

During the proceedings, Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar asked prosecutor Rajiv Mohan if any new evidence has emerged against Tunda during the subsequent probe done after he was arrested on August 16 last year from the Indo-Nepal border.

"Certain clarifications have been sought and specific queries have been posed as to whether in the supplementary charge sheet filed after apprehension of accused Abdul Karim Tunda, the said reasons for which the other co-accused persons were acquitted by the designated court vide judgement dated November 3, 1999 have been accounted for in the subsequent investigation or not," the judge said.

Mohan told the court that no new evidence has emerged against 72-year-old Tunda but the designated court, while acquitting the five co-accused under the provisions of TADA, had said that Tunda was excluded from the observations.

"Tunda was earlier declared as proclaimed offender in the case by the designated court. The court had acquitted the five co-accused under provisions of TADA but it had said that Tunda was excluded from it," Mohan said.

The court, however, fixed the matter for further hearing on March 12 after Mohan sought some time to assist the court in this regard.

Police had recently filed its supplementary charge sheet before the court against Tunda under provisions of TADA and the Explosive Substances Act in the case relating to recovery of explosive substances lodged in 1994 at south Delhi`s Malviya Nagar Police Station.

During the hearing on Thursday, the court told the police that it would apply its mind only when the investigating agency would bring "material".

"You (police) will bring material then only I will apply my mind. I will not do clerical work," the judge observed.

As soon as the prosecutor came to the court to advance his submissions on the clarifications sought from police, the court said that it was "extremely unfair" that it had to wait for so long for the prosecutor to appear before it.

The judge said it might ask the Commissioner of Police and Director of Prosecution to formulate a policy so that prosecutor could come to the court on time.

"This is extremely unfair. I am telling you (prosecutor) before you start that on Thursday I might ask the Commissioner to frame a policy. It is not possible for you (prosecutor) to do cases in entire Delhi...," the judge said and asked the police that "you people are forcing me to pass an adverse order for no reasons".

The prosecutor, however, told the court that he came late as he was arguing in a case before another court here.

The court had earlier told the special cell that if there was no new evidence against Tunda, then it will be a "futile exercise" to proceed with the case.

Tunda, one of the 20 terrorists India had asked Pakistan to hand over after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is currently in judicial custody in connection with various terror-related cases lodged against him.

Police had told the court that Tunda, suspected to be involved in 40 bombings in India, was declared a proclaimed offender in the case.

Police had also said some accused were arrested on January 17, 1994 and 150 kg explosives and six daggers recovered from their possession.