NIA court found no evidence against him to corroborate the charges framed by police
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – After languishing in jail for 5 years, a court in Bangalore has acquitted Mohammed Habeeb who was arrested in a terror case under several charges including sections of stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Special Judge of an NIA court Kasanappa Naik on Monday (14 June) acquitted Habeeb, a 36-year-old auto driver, of all charges invoked against him by the police observing that there is no sufficient grounds or evidence to substantiate them.
“Keeping in mind the requirements of provision of Section 227 of Cr PC, and also the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the aforesaid decisions, and so also, on careful perusal of entire materials on record, I am of the considered opinion that there is no sufficient ground to proceed against accused No.7 for the offences alleged against him and, therefore, the accused No.7 is liable to be discharged,” said the court in its order while acquitting Habib.
Habeeb, who is a resident of Jogendra Nagar in Tripura’s Agartala, was behind bars in connection with the cases related to 2005 shooting at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in which one person was killed and several injured. According to media reports, the Karnataka Police have arrested him by terming him ‘conspirator of the terror attack’.
He was booked under Sections 120-B, 121, 121-A, 122, 123, 307, 302 of the IPC, Sections 25, 27 of the Indian Arms Act, Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Explosives Substance Act and Sections 10, 13, 16, 17,18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The police claimed in the court that Habeeb allegedly helped the main accused of the shooting “to commit terrorist activities in Bengaluru in the name of Jihad” and helped an accused to cross the Bangladesh border illegally.
However, the court found that “no evidence to corroborate the statement of accused No.7 is produced in this case. Except the confessional statement of accused No.7, no other independent evidence is produced to establish that accused No.7 having knowledge about the criminal intention of accused No.1, has assisted him in crossing the border”.
Hence, it concluded “there being no sufficient ground to proceed against accused No.7, this Court cannot frame charges against him, merely because a charge sheet is filed against him. On careful perusal of the decisions relied upon by the learned Special Public Prosecutor, it goes to show that considering the facts and circumstances involved in this case, the principles of law laid down in the said decisions will not be helpful to this case to come to the conclusion that the prosecution has made out prima facie case to proceed against accused. On the other hand, on the basis of the materials available on hand, I am of the considered opinion that there is no sufficient grounds to proceed against accused No.7.”
Habeeb was released from jail on Friday. He left for home in Tripura the same day. His release was made possible thanks to the efforts of the Arshad Madani group of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind.
Talking to the media, Habeeb said that he never came to Bangalore. He saw the city for the first time when police brought him there after arrest. He said that he had no knowledge of shooting at IISC in Bangalore and neither he knew or met any accused ever. After his arrest, his father could not tolerate the pain of son’s arrest in a terror case and died. His family suffered a lot.
He thanked the Jamiat for taking up his case.