More than two years after the case against the July 11, 2006, serial train blasts accused was stayed by the Supreme Court, it is all set to restart on Monday.
The 13 accused will be produced before the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOCA) judge via video conferencing.
“The judge was on leave on May 21 when the trial restarted. However, he passed an order that the accused be produced via video conferencing,” said special public prosecutor Raja Thakre.
On July 11, 2006, bombs ripped apart the first-class coaches of seven local trains on the Western Railway lines killing 188 people and injuring over 700.
The court is likely to find out if the accused have appointed lawyers who will represent them. Currently, two lawyers, RB Mokashi and Prakash Shetty, have agreed to appear for them.
The trial had been stayed by the Supreme Court in February 2008 after one of the accused, Zameer Shaikh, appealed against the Bombay high court order dismissing his application stating MCOCA does not apply to them.
Shaikh had appealed to the Supreme Court along with two accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case and 2006 Aurangabad Arms haul case, contending that the term ‘insurgency’ is not compatible with MCOCA which deals mainly with organised crime.
The apex court on April 23 dismissed their plea stating that the word ‘insurgency’ could be understood to mean breakdown of public order which is within the meaning of definition of organised crime in MCOCA. The word ‘insurgency’ denotes motive of the organised crime syndicate, the court held.
One witness, a police sub-inspector from Borivli railway station, had deposed before the court on December 18, 2007. He had witnessed the blast of a Virar-bound train at Borivli station and had filed a first information (FIR) report with the Borivli railway police.
As per the charge sheet, the conspiracy of train blasts was hatched in Pakistan by Lashkar-e-Taiba commander in chief, training, Azam Cheema from Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Faisal Shaikh from Mumbai and Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid from Jalgaon.