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NIA Court Discharges UAPA Accused In IISc Attack Case After 4 Years Jail

Mustafa Plumber
21 Jun 2021 8:27 AM GMT
NIA Court Discharges UAPA Accused In IISc Attack Case After 4 Years Jail
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A Special NIA court in Bengaluru has discharged an accused Mohammed Habeeb arrested for his alleged role in connection with the December 2005 shooting case at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) which led to the death of one person and injuries to some others. Special Judge Dr. Kasanappa Naik discharged the accused saying "The prosecution has not made out prima facie case...

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A Special NIA court in Bengaluru has discharged an accused Mohammed Habeeb arrested for his alleged role in connection with the December 2005 shooting case at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) which led to the death of one person and injuries to some others.

Special Judge Dr. Kasanappa Naik discharged the accused saying "The prosecution has not made out prima facie case against accused No.7 (Habeeb) to frame charge against him for the offence punishable under Sections 120-B, 121, 121-A, 122, 123, 307, 302 of the IPC, Sections 25, 27 of the Indian Arms Act, Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Explosive Substance Act and Sections 10, 13, 16, 17,18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967."

The judge said "he failed to understand why he was arraigned as an accused in the case"

Habeeb was arrested in the year 2017, in Agartala of Tripura State, based on the statement given by co-accused Sabahuddin @ Sbahuddin Ahamad in the year 2008, who was arrested first by the Lucknow police.

Advocate Mohammed Tahir appearing for the accused argued that the complainant police have not stated anything in the chargesheet about the accused and also not collected any evidence which show that the accused has any distinct knowledge of the incident or crime involved in this case at any point of time.

Further, the accused No.1 (Sabahuddin @ Sbahuddin Ahamad) is said to have given his voluntary statement on 29.03.2008, which runs about 35 pages, wherein, he has narrated so many incidents and also stated that in the month of May, 2005, he went to Tripura, Agartala and met one Habeeb Miya(accused of this case) and befriended with him in order to seek his assistance to cross the national border illegally, and to visit Bangladesh without disclosing his true intention, he went with him and came back with him from Bangladesh and also narrated incident which took place in the month of February, 2006, when second time he crossed the border illegally to Bangladesh, and at that time, accompanied this accused as he was away on Jammath tour.

Tahir also submitted that "The accused No.1 in his voluntary statement has revealed the name of many persons, who facilitated him in getting accommodation, helped him to get admission and other necessary help in the course of his stay in Bengaluru, and the Police have not made all such persons as accused nor cited them as witnesses though having all information."

Moreover, after the arrest, the police recorded the statement of this accused on 22.03.2017 which has no legal sanctity. 

Tahir submitted "The Police though filed a lengthy charge-sheet, but not produced even a single piece of evidence against this accused to prove the charges against him. The accused is languishing in jail without committing any crime nor having any knowledge of the crime and his involvement."

Prosecution opposed the plea

Special Public Prosecutor argued that "Accused No.1 met this accused No.7 in a Masjid at Agartala, Tripura State and got acquainted with him and that accused No.1 alleged to have stated that he is engaged in Jihadi activities and that the terrorist organizations in Pakistan have trained him to commit terrorist and disruptive activities in Bengaluru and that he had to prepare recce, after meeting a person at Dakha of Bangladesh, who is belonging to terrorist organization of Pakistan and after taking financial assistance from him and therefore, requested accused No.7 to assist him to cross the border illegally into Bangladesh from India and accordingly, the accused No.7, who was also having Jihadi mindset, determined to assist accused No.1 to commit terrorist activities in Bengaluru in the name of Jihad."

Further, it was said "The accused No.7 took accused No.1 to Cumilla City of Bangladesh by crossing border illegally and thereafter, sent to Dhaka. Accused No.1 met the terrorists belonging to Pakistan based terrorist organizations and again, he came back to Cumilla and met accused No.7. Again accused No.7 helped accused No.1 to cross the border into India illegally and helped him to come to Agartala of Tripura State. The accused No.1, by crossing the border of India and entering into Bangladesh met many persons of LeT organizations of Pakistan. It is stated that accused No.1 after coming back from Bangladesh along with accused No.2 barged into the compound of Indian Institute of Science of Bengaluru and assisted accused No.1. Thereafter, accused No.1 and 2 have escaped from Bengaluru after committing the terrorist acts. The accused No.7 though having knowledge about involvement of accused No.1 and 2 in Bengaluru incident, has assisted them to escape in 2006 to go to Bangladesh from India."

Finally, it was contended "The investigation officer has filed a charge-sheet after collecting necessary materials. There is sufficient and reliable evidence collected against accused No.7 and there are no grounds to discharge him. The application is filed on imaginary grounds. The accused has not produced sufficient materials and on the other hand, there are sufficient materials to frame charges against the accused for the offences alleged."

Court findings:

On going through the records of the case the court noted "The case against accused No.1 was committed on 28.10.2016. The records further disclose that though the name of accused No.7(Habeeb) was came to light in the year 2008, but no steps were taken against accused No.7 to arrest him. In the year 2017, the accused No.7 was arrested in Agartala of Tripura State and he was produced before the Court below and accused No.7 was subjected to interrogation and his voluntary statement was recorded. It further reveal that in pursuance of the said 20 S.C.No.953/2017 C/w S.C.No.1386/2016 voluntary statement of accused No.7, the I.O., has conducted further investigation, but no material objects was recovered nor the statement of witnesses, who came to light in the statement, is recorded."

It added "A perusal of voluntary statement of accused No.1 said to have been given by him before the Police of Lucknow reveals that he has mentioned the names of accused No.2 – Hamza, accused No.3 – Yusuf Bhai, accused No.4 – Abdul Azeez @ Vali, accused No.8 – Zaki-ur-Rehaman Lakvi and though, he has mentioned that he and accused No.2 came over to Bengaluru to carry out terrorist activities at IISc., but he has nowhere stated the name of accused No.7 that accused No.7 has assisted him to cross the border and to go to Bangladesh. Further, the name of accused No.7 first time surfaces only in the voluntary statement of accused No.1 said to have been recorded by the I.O., in this case."

The court on going through the statement of accused no 1, observed "There is no averments, which indicate that accused No.7 had knowledge about the terrorist acts going to be committed by accused No.1 in Bengaluru nor that accused No.1 is a Lashkar-e-Taiba member and receiving arms and ammunition in order to commit terrorist acts in Bengaluru City. Thus, I find that there was nothing in the statement of accused No.1 to implicate accused No.7 in the crime."

It added "It is seen that thereafter, accused No.7 was arrested and his statement was also recorded and thereafter, there is no further evidence collected to prove the involvement of accused No.7 in the crime. No mahazar was conducted by taking accused No.7 to the relevant places nor the statement of Pappu and Saif-ul-Islam was recorded. There is absolutely no legal evidence to show that accused No.7 had criminal intention or done any criminal acts."

The court also opined "A careful scrutiny of the confession statement given by the accused No.1, it reveals that he has not disclosed anything about his intention or plan with accused No.7 and as I already narrated, accused No.1 alleged to have said accused No.7 that he is going to Bangladesh, as a visitor. When there is nothing spoken about accused No.7 by accused No.1, which incriminates him in any of the crime, I failed to understand, as to why this accused No.7 was arraigned as accused in the case."

The court went through the statement of the accused and said "There is no independent evidence available to prove that accused No.7 assisted accused No.1 to do any criminal and unlawful acts. If at all, the accused No.7 had assisted accused No.1 in crossing the border to go to Bangladesh illegally, it is for the concerned Police at Tripura to prosecute him in this regard and he cannot be prosecuted in this case."

Finally, the court said "No evidence is collected to corroborate the statement of accused No.7 is produced in this case. Except the confession statement of accused No.7, no other independent evidence is produced to establish that accused No.7 having knowledge about the criminal intention of accused No.1, has assisted him in crossing the border. Since, the relatives of accused No.7 are residing in Cumilla, if he had assisted accused No.1 to cross the border, as he had frequently crossed the border, no criminal intention on the part of accused No.7 with reference to facts of this case can be gathered.

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