New Delhi: In a major snub to the Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat that will rekindle hope in incarcerated innocent Muslims, the Supreme Court today granted bail to Hyderabad cleric Maulana Naseeruddin who is languishing in Gujarat’s Sabarmati jail for the past five years on conspiracy charges. The Supreme Court took this matter seriously.
Justice Markandeya Katju said that “already six years have been passed without trial, and looking at his age, will you take his life and then only leave him.” The Maulana was arrested on October 31, 2004 in Hyderabad. Maulana’s bail appeal was pending in the apex court for the last seven months. The court had three times issued notices to the Gujarat government to submit its counter reply but it failed to do so until now.
Today when the hearing of the case started in the Supreme Court, Kamini Jaiswal, the Advocate of Maulana Naseeruddin, presented his case in court number 9 consisting of Justice Markandeya Katju and Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly. Adv. Jaiswal said that the Gujarat Government, while avoiding to file its reply, became a hurdle for the bail appeal which is against the right of any citizen. Adv. Jaiswal also said that the government is unable to present any evidence/witness against the Maulana to prove its charge against him in the case of an alleged conspiracy. Due to the repeated change of the public prosecutor, the trial has been delayed in Gujarat and there is no hope that the trial will complete in near future, said Adv. Jaiswal. Though the Supreme Court has given the direction to the Gujarat Government to complete the trial as early as possible in 2006 itself, the Gujarat Government failed to fulfill the directions of Supreme Court. Adv. Jaiswal urged that the appeal of the Maulana be accepted and granted bail.
On the other side, Gujarat Public Prosecutor Ms. Hemantika Vahi strongly opposed the bail appeal saying that granting of bail to Maulana Naseeruddin will affect the trial.
When the Gujarat Public Prosecutor said that the bail to the Maulana will move the other accused to make a line before the court for bail, the apex court asked her: should the court be closed then?
Talking to TwoCircles.net Lateef Muhammad Khan, General Secretary, Hyderabad-based Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee expressed his happiness over the development. He has welcomed the judgment saying that this will provide a great relief to Maulana and his family. He said the Supreme Court is the last hope for the Gujarat victims as Muslims cannot get justice in Gujarat state.
Khan also blasted the media propaganda that Maulana Naseeruddin is an accused in Haren Pandya murder case. He said the Gujarat government has made him accused in an alleged conspiracy case under section 120B and in POTA. He further said that the state has charged him of hatching conspiracy to revenge the Gujarat 2002 riots by killing Modi, Togadia etc. Khan said Maulana’s speeches were said to be inspiring Muslim youths to take the revenge of the pogrom.
Maulana Nasiruddin’s three sons are also in different jails on various charges. Lateef Khan recalled his interview with the wife of the Maulana some time back. She told him that the local police on some occasion in the past had threatened the family to implicate their sons when they are grown up.
Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net, 5 Sep 2009.