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Charges under TADA may not be framed against LeT bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda, says Delhi court

Thursday, 15 May 2014 - 6:47pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A Delhi court on Thursday indicated the charges under stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) may not be framed against top Lashkar-e-Toiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda.

The court, however, said there is a prima facie case made out under the Explosive Substance Act against Tunda who has been chargesheeted in a case relating to recovery of explosives.

Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar observed this while hearing arguments on framing of charges against 72-year-old Tunda.

"TADA is not made out. Explosive Substance Act is made out against the accused," the judge said, during the hearing.

The court also asked advocate MS Khan, who appeared for Tunda, whether the accused would plead guilty to the offences.

Khan, however, told the court that they would fight the case as there was no evidence.

"I will fight the case. There is no evidence against Tunda in this case," he said.

Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan argued that there was a disclosure statement of other co-accused who were convicted earlier in the case under provisions of Explosive Substances Act.

The court asked the police and Tunda's counsel to file their written arguments and posted the matter for May 28.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had told the court that there was circumstantial evidence against Tunda as 40 kg explosives were recovered from the house of his brother in Delhi, where he was also residing, in 1994.

The police had said that four other accused, who had faced trial in the case, had also given confessional statements that they had hatched the conspiracy for terror strikes here on the instructions of Tunda.

Earlier, the special cell had filed a supplementary charge sheet against Tunda saying it would further "clarify" its case regarding charges slapped under the stringent TADA.

It had said that the trial court had, in its judgement passed in December 1999 against arrested accused Abdul Haq, Aftab, Abdul Wahid, Afaq and Afran Ahmad, convicted them under section 5 of Explosive Substances Act read with section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

The police, in its charge sheet, said Tunda was declared a proclaimed offender by the court earlier and in its verdict passed in December 1999 against the five arrested persons, the court had made specific observations regarding exclusion of Tunda from the order of acquittal.

It also said these arrested persons had disclosed about Tunda's involvement in the terror activities. Tunda was arrested by the Special Cell on August 16 last year from the Indo-Nepal border.

Tunda, one of the 20 terrorists India had asked Pakistan to hand over after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is currently in judicial custody in connection with various terror-related cases lodged against him.

Police had told the court that Tunda, suspected to be involved in 40 bombings in India, was declared a proclaimed offender in the case.

Police had also said five accused were arrested on January 17, 1994 and 150 kg explosives and six daggers were recovered from their possession.

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