Maha govt go to SC on Faheem, Sabauddin acquittal

Maharashtra govt has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court`s decision of acquitting Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in the 26/11 terror attack.

Last Updated: Jun 12, 2011, 18:39 PM IST

Mumbai: Maharashtra Government has
approached the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High
court`s decision of acquitting Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin
Ahmed in the 26/11 terror attack, three months after the
two were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Senior government sources privy to the case said that
an appeal has been filed with the Supreme Court claiming that
the trial court and the High Court had erred in its judgement
of acquitting them despite evidence to suggest that the two
were involved.

The prosecution team of the Maharashtra Government led
by Ujwal Nikkam was left embarrassed on two occasions in the
trial and the High Court, when evidence submitted by the
police was rejected.

The Bombay High Court had on February 21 this year
acquitted Faheem and Sabauddin, accused of being
co-conspirators and aiding and abetting terror outfit
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in conducting the dastardly attacks.

The duo were in May last year acquitted by the trial
court due to lack of evidence. They were tried with lone
surviving Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab, who was convicted and
awarded death penalty.

According to the police, Faheem and Sabauddin had
prepared maps of several vital locations of Mumbai and handed
it over to LeT members who had planned the attack.

The claims of Mumbai Police fell on its face after
revelations of Pakistani-American Lashker terrorist David
Headley. His arrest and subsequent statement had punctured
police theory of criminal conspiracy involving only Ansari and
Sabauddin.

The assessment by the Mumbai Police is reflected in its
appeal before the High Court, filed five months after the
Headley revelations, in which its elite Crime Branch is silent
on the role of Headley while contesting the acquittal of
Faheem Ansari and Sabahuddin in the November 26, 2008 attack
that left 166 people dead.

The focus of Mumbai Police through its Special Public
Prosecutor Ujjwal D Nikam was that the terrorists intruded
into the country`s financial capital with the help of
hand-written maps drawn by Ansari.

The two had, however, been discharged by the Special
Judge ML Tahaliyani saying that better maps were available on
internet.

Headley, who was recruited by Pakistan-based
Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group, has confessed to the US
authorities and India`s National Investigating Agency (NIA) in
front of a magistrate about his role in carrying out the
survey of the locations attacked by the terrorists on 26/11.

The High Court had, however, acquitted the duo
observing, "the view taken by learned Sessions judge so far as
involvement of Ansari and Sabahuddin in this case is
concerned, cannot be called unreasonable, palpably false,
manifestly erroneous and demonstratively unsustainable which
merits our interference."

The High Court, in its judgment, said that the map
allegedly handed over by Faheem, who is already an accused in
the CRPF camp firing case at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, to a
person in Nepal could not be corroborated.

PTI