30th Aug’16 TH
Sighting lack of evidences to prove charges, city’s session court on 18 August 2016, acquitted all four accused belonging to right wing organization from a 13 years old bomb blast case.
November 21, 2003 a bomb was exploded at Mohammadiya Masjid, Rehmat Nagar, Parbhani killing one person and injuring 34 others.
The acquitted accused in the case are Maroti Keshwarao Wagh, Yogesh Ravindra Deshpande, Sanjay alias Bharauo Vittal Chowdhari and Rakesh Dhawade.
Session court Judge S Jawalkar today acquitted all the accused as prosecution could not prove the charges leveled against them.
Earlier in 2012, all these accused were also acquitted Jalna masjid blast case. On August 27, 2004, a crude bomb was hurled in the Quadriya Masjid during the prayer. Seven persons had received injuries in the blast.
Dhawde continues to remain in prison as he is also an accused in Malegaon 2008 case and is allegedly close associate of colonel Purohit.
The Courts observation
While hearing and passing of an order over prosecution’s plea, Additional Session Judge M H Baig specifically noted on July 21, 2014 , “Neither the learned Special PP (Public prosecutor) nor the learned PP nor the two learned APPs who are on record for the prosecution, is present whenever called out repeatedly by taking this case for hearing/passing order in question”.
Again, on April 1, 2015 the court expressed its disappointment by recording, “It is worth noting that the prosecution is making a mockery of the court proceeding”. The court had to make a note of this when A.R.Kothikhane, the APP who was on court’s record produced before court an authority letter from V V Parakh, a special PP and tried to disown the responsibility of conducting trial while Parakh was also not in court to conduct the proceedings.
Going further when court discovered that prosecution did not make necessary arrangements for smooth conduct of the trial in last 45 days, despite a specific order to that effect, court was compelled to put a remark, “So for the stand taken today for and on behalf of the State is concerned, I am of the opinion that either there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the prosecution to derail the conduct of the trial in this very very old matter or that none is interested in going ahead with the trial.”
Anxiety of court increased due to such lethargic attitude shown by prosecution during trial and hence it again made its opinion public, “…on one hand the learned Special P.P is not attending the court on the dates of hearing in this matter for quite sometime and on the other hand those occasionally appearing from the cadre of APPs in this Sessions Division are, on one hand trying to place something on record without taking any responsibility for the same”.
In addition to this, while deciding one of the applications filed by Special PP the court said, “Due to such negative attitude on the part of the prosecution machinery, an entire schedule of a week for recording of evidence fixed giving time of more than 1½ months has collapsed.”
This remark was made by the court on June 20, 2015 adding further, “Now, having regards to nature of the case, involvement of one of the accused who is in jail for years together and the manner in which the prosecution is dragging its feet in not coming forward with evidence it wants to lead in the case, I am of the considered opinion that another chance be given to the prosecution to come out with evidence…”
Wanting evidences from prosecution to proceed in the case, court was compelled to advise prosecution on August 21, 2015, “It is also made clear that the prosecution is at liberty to produce any other witnesses on its own which are not already examined and which are named in the chargesheet as it is the primary duty of the prosecution to bring its own witnesses…”
The anger of court towards lackadaisical attitude of prosecution did not stop here. On September 14, 2015 the court ordered prosecution to submit cost of Rs. 12,000 to be distributed amongst four accused as none of the Public Prosecutor was present although the trial was scheduled for the examination of six witnesses, who were all present in court on the date.
Subsequently, on January 28, 2016 the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court rejected Maharashtra state’s appeal against imposed fine and instead remarked, “While it should be the anxiety of the State to have speedy trial, it appears that the State is prolonging the matter