JAIPUR – The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday acquitted all four men who were given death penalty in 2019 over the 2008 Jaipur bomb blasts and pulled up the police for carrying out shoddy investigation.
“The court acquitted Mohammad Saif, Mohammad Sarwar, Saif ur Rehman and Mohammad Salman. All the four death references stand rejected by the High Court,” advocate Syed Saadat Ali, who was part of the defence team, was quoted by Indian Express as saying.
The state government said it will file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the acquittal.
On May 13, 2008, nine bombs exploded in eight locations in Jaipur which killed 71 people and injured 185.
Advocate Ali said senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan also appeared for the four accused. The verdict was pronounced by a division bench of Justices Pankaj Bhandari and Sameer Jain.
“While pronouncing the judgement, the court pulled up the police for shoddy investigation and said the investigators lacked legal knowledge, were incompetent and careless. The court has asked the Director General of Police to take action against these officers,” said Ali.
The advocate said that while acquitting Mohammed Salman, the court ruled that he was a juvenile at the time of the incident. Ali added that apart from those acquitted so far, there are no other accused in the case.
A trial is currently going on in another case related to the blast, where a live bomb was found, said Ali.
In 2019, a special court, while convicting the four persons, had acquitted a fifth accused, Shahbaz Hussain.
Advocate Akhil Chaudhary, who appeared on behalf of Shahbaz, said that the High Court on Wednesday upheld Hussain’s acquittal by the special court in 2019.
“The state government had appealed against the acquittal of Shahbaz by the trial court. The appeal of the state government was dismissed by the High Court today, which ruled in favour of Shahbaz,” said Chaudhary on Wednesday.
Back in 2019, the four were sentenced to death under IPC Section 302 (murder) and under Section 16 (1a) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The first of the 2008 IED blasts took place near Manak Chowk. It was followed by blasts in and around Badi Chaupar, Johari Bazaar, the Sanganeri Gate Hanuman temple, Choti Chaupar, Tripolia Bazar, a police station and the Chandpole Hanuman temple. A live bomb was also found on a bicycle near a shop in front of the Chandpole Ramchandraji temple before being defused.