People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nazir Maudany has spent 11 years in jail since arrest and seven years under conditional bail, said a plea to the Supreme Court of India to relax Maudany’s bail condition and permit him to stay in his hometown in Kerala till the pendency of the trial in the 2008 Bengaluru bomb blast case in which he is an accused.
“More than six years have elapsed and the trial has still not been concluded. The trial was protracted on account of the lethargic attitude of the respondent (State of Karnataka). The case before the trial court is crawling at snail’s pace and the progress of the trial was hampered on several occasions due to various reasons such as recall and re-examination of witnesses, transfer of special public prosecutor thrice, transfer of presiding officer thrice and now on account of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the plea.
The Kerala’s prominent Islamic scholar Maudany who was exempted from all charges suspected for involvement in Coimbatore bombings in 1998 after spending 9 years of undertrial imprisonment, arrested again by the Karnataka police on 17 August 2010 on charges of involvement in the 2008 Bangalore blasts conspiracy under the draconian UAPA. Since July 2014 wheelchair-bound Maudany has been living in Bengaluru under the conditional bail and armed police protection. After getting permission from an NIA special court, he visited Kerala in 2017 and 2018 to visit his ailing mother and to attend his children’s weddings.
According to the fresh plea, the prosecution miserably failed to adhere to the schedule of the trial fixed earlier.
“On many occasions the trial was delayed, even scuttled due to the inability of bringing the witnesses on time,” read the plea.
The plea also highlighted that the health of Maudany was getting worse and suitable health care was not available due to the pandemic situation.
“The recording of statement under Section 313 Cr. PC was under way. This had been going on for over a year and it was unlikely to get over in near future….the court did not have a presiding judicial officer at present,” according to the plea.
On Monday, while hearing Maudany’s plea, Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, heading a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, orally referred to Maudany as a “dangerous man”.
“You (Maudany) are a dangerous man,” Chief Justice Bobde addressed Maudany’s lawyer Jayant Bhushan.
The senior advocate Bhushan said: “Your Lordships, in 2014, had granted him bail but ordered him to stay back in Bengaluru.”
According to The Hindu report, the hearing was cut short when Justice V. Ramasubramanian, also on the Bench, voiced doubts about appearing for Maudany at some point in the past.
The top court adjourned the hearing for next week in order to verify Justice Ramasubramanian’s query.