The Delhi High Court has rejected the plea of an accused, facing trial along with other 13 Indian Mujahideen suspects in the 2008 serial blasts cases, challenging its administrative order to transfer the trials to another court.
Dismissing the plea of Mohd Shakeel, who challenged the court's August 3 administrative order to transfer all cases from Tis Hazari court to Patiala House court, a bench led by Justice S Ravindra Bhat said, "If the plea is allowed it would set a dangerous precedent."
The bench also comprising Justice Najmi Waziri said, "This court is unable to locate any principled justification to say that a particular case or trial should continue on the file of a particular judge, because a large number of witnesses' depositions were recorded by him. "Doing so would, to this court's mind, be setting a dangerous precedent, fuelling similar demands for diverse considerations, adding to the court's already strained docket, a new class of litigation unnecessarily." Shakeel in his plea said transfer of the cases would cause delay and prejudice to the accused persons as more than 197 prosecution witnesses had already been examined and only 30-40 more witnesses remain to be examined in the Tis Hazari court.
In the plea, he said, "The transfer of the cases is likely to result in avoidable delay in the proceedings... and subsequently because the transferee court is burdened with all cases arising from investigations conducted by the Special Cell of Delhi Police."