Mum police left red faced, HC upholds Ansari, Sabauddin acquittal
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Last Updated: Monday, February 21, 2011, 19:19
Mumbai: Mumbai police's elite crime branch was again left red-faced on Monday after Bombay High Court dismissed its appeal challenging the acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed Shaikh in the 26/11 attacks case as co-conspirators.

With the prosecution's case linking the duo with the crime being rejected, Special Public Prosector Ujjwal Nikkam attempted to put a brave face saying he had already spoken to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prathviraj Chavan and Home Minister R R Patil for filing an appeal against the acquittal.

The division bench comprising Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More while dismissing the plea of state government said "we are of the view that the view taken by learned Sessions Judge so far as involvement of Ansari and Shaikh in this case is concerned, cannot be called unreasonable, palpably false, manifestly erroneous and demonstratively unsustainable which merits our interference."

The division bench again pointed out in its judgment that the map allegedly handed over by Ansari, who is already an accused in a case of shooting down CRPF personnel at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, to a person in Nepal could not be corroborated.

Prosecution had claimed that the same map was recovered from the pocket of Abu Ismail, a terrorist shot dead during an encounter that led to arrest of Ajmal Kasab.

The high court concurred with the view taken by Sessions Judge M L Tahaliyani that the map recovered from Ismail's pocket should have some wrinkles on it and blood spots as the Lashker-e-Taiba(LeT) terrorist was badly injured in the gun-fight.

The prosecution in its appeal had claimed that the sessions judge had erred in making this opinion. However, the High Court in its ruling said "we had a look at the cargo pant, particularly the pocket from where the map was recovered."

"There are small spots of blood on the border of the pocket. We find that the appeal memo contains a sketch of the pocket. It shows that there were blood stains on the corner of the right side of the pocket.

"There are two spots of blood on the upper portion. This fact is admitted in the appeal memo. Thus, the prosecution has also come with the case that there were blood stains on the corner and upper portion of the right side pocket. In such circumstances, the view taken by learned Sessions Judge on this aspect cannot be called perverse."

"I have already spoken to Chief Minister and Home Minister and recommended to file appeal against HC's order," Nikkam, whose arguments failed to impress the judges due to lack of corroborative evidences, said.


First Published: Monday, February 21, 2011, 19:19

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