HC notice to ATS against Jundal`s solitary confinement

Bombay HC issued notices to ATS and Arthur Road Jail authorities seeking their response to a petition filed by Abu Jundal against his confinement.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday issued notices to Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Arthur Road Jail authorities seeking their response to a petition filed by Abu Jundal, alleged LeT operative and a key 26/11 handler, against his solitary confinement.

Jundal had petitioned the high court yesterday seeking to be moved out of solitary confinement in the cell where Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was lodged before being hanged at Pune`s Yerawada jail.

A division bench of Justices P V Hardas and Mridula Bhatkar has posted the matter for hearing next week.

"The applicant (Jundal) has been kept in solitary confinement since six months. Due to this he is depressed and thus not able to think clearly. Like all undertrials Jundal should also be kept in the common barracks and allowed certain privileges," the petition pleaded.

Earlier, in a petition before the lower court, Jundal had claimed he hallucinated about Kasab. The court had then ordered his psychiatric evaluation, but jail authorities found him mentally sound.

The present petition also claims that he is mentally unfit and was under medication when lodged in Delhi`s Tihar jail.

Jundal, who is alleged to have taught 26/11 terrorists Hindi and had spoken to them during the attacks from a makeshift control room in Karachi, is being tried by a Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court here for alleged involvement in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.

On May 8, 2006, the ATS had seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition including 30 kg RDX, 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 3,200 bullets near Aurangabad and Jundal is one of the accused in the case.