The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea filed by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and Islamic scholar Abdul Nazir Maudany, seeking relaxation of conditions imposed by the top court while granting him bail in July 2014 in 2008 Bengaluru blasts case.
The Kerala politician Maudany has spent 11 years in jail since arrest and seven years under conditional bail under draconian UAPA in several terror cases.
A Bench comprising Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice Krishna Murari issued the direction while hearing an application filed by Maudany, seeking relaxation of bail condition asking him to not leave the city of Bangalore, to the extent that he be permitted to travel to his hometown in Kerala till the pendency of the trial, Live Law reported.
“His (Maudany) physical condition has become such that he’s been advised to take Ayurvedic treatment available in his hometown in Kerala,” Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Maudany, told the Apex Court.
Maudany has to spend unnecessarily for rent in Bangalore, Bhushan said while seeking relaxation of bail conditions.
Bhushan also informed the court that Maudany’s father is totally paralysed during his period of incarceration and his mother also died.
Bhushan said to the Supreme Court that the only evidence claimed against Maudany in the chargesheet was that he attended some meeting in which some conspiracy is supposed to be hatched, Live Law reported.
“He is wheelchair-bound and his condition has become bad, conditional bail was granted in 2014, and assurance was given that trial will be completed in 4 months. Now 7 years down the line, prosecution evidence is completed, there is no question of tampering with evidence, etc,” says Bhushan.
Karnataka State’s lawyer Nikhil Goel opposed the request for relaxation of bail conditions. He said: “There are 9 cases and 200 witnesses in each case were examined. In 7 out of 9 cases, 313 statements for 31 accused is over, its a humongous task that trial court has done.”
“These conditions were applied for specific reasons. He has been involved right from Babri Masjid and was an accused in Coimbatore Blast also. He has 24 cases in Kerala! Its for this reason he was asked to stay in Bangalore. His leg was amputated during Babri Masjid in 1992 not now. There are witnesses who have come forward and said they are trying to be influenced. He is not a confined man, he only being surveilled,” Live Law quotes Goel as saying.
Bhushan further told the Apex Court that Maudany has never been convicted of any offence in his life. There was an attack on him in 1992, he had nothing to do with Babri Masjid. The State said they will complete the trial in 4 months back in 2014.
Bhushan went on to say: “A man who’s never been convicted, has been in jail or conditional bail, the trial is not over for 7 years, he needs to see his father, this is a case where regular bail is granted in these circumstances. I am not even asking for that. Let him be under same conditions, but in his hometown in Kerala. He was acquitted in Coimbatore blast case, he has never been convicted.”
“Mr. Bhushan we are sorry we can’t relax.” Justice Nazeer said.
Kerala’s prominent Islamic scholar and politician Maudany who was exempted from all charges suspected of involvement in Coimbatore bombings in 1998 after spending 9 years of undertrial imprisonment, was 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 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.