Special Judge Who Acquitted 5 In 2007 Mecca Masjid Blast Resigns Hours After Verdict
Special NIA judge K Ravinder Reddy who acquitted Godman Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case resigned hours after delivering the verdict.
The judge submitted his resignation to Andhra Pradesh Chief Justice on Monday.
Judge Reddy cited personal reasons for his resignation.
The resignation closely follows the verdict delivered by the Special Judge at about 12 PM today wherein he had acquitted godman Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand of Gujarat, RSS pracharak Devendra Gupta of Rajasthan, property dealer-cum-RSS activist Lokesh Sharma of MP, , private employee Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar of Gujarat and farmer Rajender Chowdary of MP citing lack of evidence to hold them guilty.
According to a report in The Print the judge’s resignation could be connected to allegations of corruption against him.
"A Hyderabad-based advocate, on the condition of anonymity, said the vigilance department of the high court in Hyderabad was looking into the complaint against the judge.
The vigilance registrar of the high court or judge Reddy could not be reached for a response. This report will be updated when their comments are received.
In an affidavit filed before acting chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, Krishna Reddy, a Hyderabad-based litigant, filed an official complaint against the judge.
“The CBI is looking into the allegations against the judge,” a CBI officer confirmed.
ThePrint has accessed a copy of the sworn affidavit that was filed on 11 December 2017", says the report
The Mecca Masjid Blasts
The blast had taken place on May 18, 2007 after the noon acquitted prayers on a Friday.
Special NIA court at Namapally delivered the verdict amidst heavy security bandobast after 11 years of trial in which it had examined over 200 witnesses. Over 40 had retracted from their statements.
The court acquitted godman Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand of Gujarat, RSS pracharak Devendra Gupta of Rajasthan, property dealer-cum-RSS activist Lokesh Sharma of MP, private employee Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar of Gujarat and farmer Rajender Chowdary of MP.
They along with five others were accused by the NIA for being behind the blast that ripped through the heritage Mecca Masjid near Charminar in Hyderabad (now in Telangana) claiming nine lives and injuring 58 persons on May 18, 2007, after the noon prayers.
The case had seen the probe changing many hands from Andhra Pradesh police to CBI to NIA in 2011. Many papers relating to the case had reportedly gone missing.
Many politicians took to Twitter to comment on the questionable timing of the resignation.