Israeli diplomat attack: Delhi HC reserves order on pleas of accused

The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on two pleas of an accused in the 2002 Israeli diplomat attack case, seeking direction to constitute more than one special NIA court here.

PTI| Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 18:42 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on two pleas of an accused in the 2002 Israeli diplomat attack case, seeking direction to constitute more than one special NIA court here.

"We will pass an appropriate order," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said after hearing arguments on behalf of the lawyers, appearing for the city government and accused Sayed Mohd Ahmed Kazmi.

"We feel nothing survive in this petition as the trial judge, against whom you had the grievance, is no more," the court said and asked Kazmi's counsel Mehmood Pracha to withdraw the petitions.

However, Pracha did not withdraw the petitions and sought liberty to file additional affidavit saying that the pleas have raised the other important issues as well such as the high court, by an administrative order, cannot constitute only one special court to try a particular kind of cases.

If an accused alleges "bias" against the trial judge then there would be no other court where the case can be transferred, he said.

Police arrested Kazmi on March 6, 2012 from outside Indian Islamic Cultural Centre here, in connection with the attack on Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua Koren on February 13, 2012.

The petition challenged an administrative order of the Delhi High Court, passed on August 3, 2013, constituting one special trial court under the NIA Act in the city to try all the cases probed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.

"The petition involves a substantial question of law having general public importance that whether designation appointment of only single judge to handle a class of cases, investigated by a particular investigating agency, takes away the right to apply and seek relief under section 407 and 408 CrPC and whether appointment of only one judge to the post of special court as required by ... Of the NIA Act takes away a legal right to apply and seek transfer...," the plea said.

Koren, travelling in an embassy vehicle near Aurangzeb Road-Safdarjang Road Crossing, and three others were injured when the vehicle caught fire after allegedly being attacked.

Kazmi, a journalist, has also sought transfer of his case, registered with the Special Cell, from the special NIA court to any other court of competent jurisdiction saying the present trial judge has been "biased" against him.

However, the trial judge later died.

Kazmi has alleged that he is being implicated by Delhi Police in the case.

Besides Kazmi, Delhi Police has also listed four Iranian nationals - Houshang Afshar Irani, the main bomber, Mohammad Reza Abolghasemi, Seyed Ali Mahdiansadr and Sedaghatzadeh Masoud - as "suspects" in the case.

Kazmi has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Act and other sections of the IPC.