Mumbai: With the trial in the 2006 serial train blasts case set to resume from May 24 before a special MCOCA court here, the 13 arrested accused have approached
criminal lawyers to defend themselves.
The accused had refused to appoint lawyers earlier and approached the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of a particular section pertaining to insurgency in
the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
However, the apex court had on April 25 dismissed the petition and vacated the stay on the trial.
The 13 accused have now approached the Jamiat-e-Ulema
Hind, a Muslim organisation that arranges legal aid, which in
turn has contacted several criminal lawyers to defend the
"We have approached senior lawyers like RB Mokashi,
Prakash Shetty and Sudeep Pasbola. While Mokashi has agreed to
take up the case, we are awaiting replies from the other
lawyers," general secretary of the organization, Gulzar Azmi,
told a news agency.
Confirming this, Mokashi, who had defended Faheem Ansari
in the 26/11 case, said "since there are several accused in
the case it is too early to say which one I would be appearing
13 alleged members of banned Students Islamic Movement of
India (SIMI) were arrested for allegedly carrying out serial
blasts on Mumbai local suburban trains on July 11, 2006 that
killed 187 persons and injured over 800 others.
The accused were charged under various sections of MCOCA
and for waging war against the nation and conspiracy under the
Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The first witness in the case, a police sub-inspector,
had deposed before a special MCOCA court. However after that
the trial was stayed as one of the accused Kamal Ansari moved
the Supreme Court.
"On May 24, all the accused would be produced before
special MCOCA Judge Y D Shinde. They would then inform the
court on whether they have appointed a lawyer for themselves
after which summons would be sent to witnesses to remain
present in court on the next date of hearing," special public
prosecutor Raja Thakare said.