Want to fast-track blast trial, bail pleas in way: Judge
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The 2008 serial blast trial is likely to get delayed because Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar, who is hearing the cases, said he has been unable to fast-track it as bail applications had been taking too much of his time.
The blast cases are heard every Wednesday in the Tis Hazari Courts. In the consolidated trial for all five bomb blast cases there are over 800 witnesses and a part of the morning session goes in conducting a video-conference as some of the accused are lodged in Sabarmati Jail, Ahmedabad.
Earlier, in response to an application filed by counsels for 13 of the accused men for speedy trial, Kumar had agreed to list the case three days a week rather than one.
The court had said the statements of only 128 witnesses had been taken till now and that the accused had been in custody for long.
"No doubt, the undertrial has a fundamental right for speedy trial as provided under Article 21 of the Constitution. The 13 accused persons, who are in custody, also deserve speedy trial. It is not disputed that in all the five consolidated cases, there are about 800 witnesses. Till today, this court has recorded statements of 128 witnesses," the judge said.
The judge said he agreed with the defence counsels in May 2012 that the matter should be listed on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Their application was not opposed even by the public prosecutor. Accordingly the case was listed three times a week from August.
On August 1, however, the District and Sessions Judge directed the court to take up bail matters from Delhi's Central district.
Kumar said bail hearings generally take up a few hours every day. According to court staff there were 48 cases pending in which the undertrials are in custody.
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