Mumbai News

2012 serial blasts | No grounds to believe him: Bombay HC rejects bail plea of Pune blast accused – The Indian Express

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of one of the accused in the 2012 Pune serial blasts, Munib Memon, observing that prima facie, there were no reasonable grounds for believing that the appellant was not guilty of the charges, and that the claims against him seemed true.

The explosions at Pune’s Jangli Maharaj Road on August 1, 2012, had taken place within minutes, injuring one person; and an unexploded bomb was also defused. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has so far arrested eight men — Munib Iqbal Memon, Asad Khan, Imran Khan, Sayyed Firoz, Irfan Mustafa Landge, Farooq Bagwan, Kashif Biyabani and Bunty Jagirdar — for their alleged involvement in the case. Memon has been charged with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Explosive Substances Act, and the Arms Act.

A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Sharmila U Deshmukh passed the judgment on September 27, which was officially released on Friday. The bench said that it cannot grant Memon a relief on parity, as the grounds on which his co-accused were enlarged on bail were completely different from that of the appellant.

“Considering the confessional statements, prima facie, it is difficult to come to a conclusion that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the appellant is not guilty of the offences with which he is charged, as mandated by Section 21(4) of the MCOC Act. Similarly, the material on record shows that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against the appellant are prima facie true, and hence Section 43(D)(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, would also apply. The appeal seeking bail on merits is rejected,” the bench ruled.

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The court, meanwhile, said it will expedite the trial in the case and conclude it by December next year. It also observed, “However, at the same time, we cannot be oblivious to the right of the appellant to an expeditious trial guaranteed to him under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Charges in this case were framed on May 25, 2022. Accordingly, we expedite the trial of the appellant and direct the Special Judge, to conclude the trial, as expeditiously as possible, and in any event by December 2023. All parties i.e. prosecution and defence to cooperate with the special judge in the expeditious disposal of the trial.”

Memon’s advocate Mubin Solkar, meanwhile, told the court that there had been a long delay in the commencement of the trial, and that the accused has already undergone a pre-trial detention for nearly 10 years since his arrest in 2012.