The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has decided not to oppose the conditional bail granted to Swami Aseemanand, chargesheeted in the 2007 Samjhauta blasts case, as it did not find any grounds for it.
This was stated by Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in Lok Sabha while replying to a written question by Asaduddin Owaisi of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The government has also declined to grant permission to challenge a bail order granted to two other accused in the Mecca Masjid blasts case, Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma, on the “grounds of parity” since bail had been granted to Bharat Mohal Lal and Tejaram Parmar which had not been challenged by the prosecution.
However, the Minister made it clear that both the accused were in jail as they were involved in other cases and wherein they have been denied bail.
On Swami Aseemanand, whose actual name is Naba Kumar Sarkar, the Minister said he continues to remain in jail as he “could not comply with the conditions of bail specified” in the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court last August.
The certified copy of the order was issued by the court only on May 1, 2015. “The NIA examined the feasibility of filing a Special Leave Petition and decided that there were no grounds to challenge the order in Supreme Court,” the Minister said.
Four improvised explosive devices were planted on Samjhauta Express, the only rail link between India and Pakistan, on February 18, 2007. In the resulting explosion, 68 lives were lost.
The NIA has come under sharp criticism from political parties, including Congress, and has been accused of failure to carry out investigations in all terror cases with which right-wing groups have been associated.
The Special Public Prosecutor in Malegaon 2008 case Rohini Salian was said to have been eased out of the job after her claims that NIA was pressurising her to go soft on the accused, which included Sadhvi Pragya and Col. Srikant Purohit. However, the NIA has denied her charges.
In a related development, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on August 11 in which a plea has been made seeking an appropriate “writ, direction or order appointing an advocate of eminence and reputation having high standards of integrity as the Special Public Prosecutor for conducting the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case“.
Seeking a court-monitored investigation into the case, the PIL also wanted a direction to the CBI for registering a case against NIA officials and “their political masters” on whose instructions they were “pressurising” Salian to go soft on the accused.