The Supreme Court has laid down a general rule in cases pertaining to crimes against the country and ruled that those accused of conspiring to perpetrate acts of terrorism cannot expect the courts to be lenient and grant them bail during the pendency of trial.
The ruling came on bail petitions filed by Saiyed Ijaz Ahmed and Afzal Khan. Saiyed, a youth from Ahmedabad, was arrested after he went to Pakistan to train in terrorist activities to take revenge for the loss of lives and properties caused to the Muslims in the post-Godhra riots.
Afzal is accused of funding the conspiracy to perpetrate terrorist activities and also supplying arms and ammunition for the purpose.
Appearing for the accused, counsel Lata Krisnamurthy and Kamini Jaiswalcontended that the alleged confessional statements of the duo were taken after their arrest and concocted. They had further argued that there was no charge of committing any terrorist act against them and, hence, bail should be granted.
A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and Markandey Katju said a detailed reason for refusal of bail should not be given as it might touch upon the merits of the case. However, it said, ?Ordinarily, a bail application, in a case of this nature which, involves the security of the state, should be rejected?.
It is very difficult to say at this stage as to whether the accused are the party to the larger conspiracy or not, even though it is alleged that one of them had gone to Pakistan for training and the other had provided money and was in possession of a large quantity of arms, it said. ?A strong prima facie case has been made out against the accused. Their release now may hamper the conduct of the trial as main witnesses are yet to be examined.?
(Courtesy The Times of India, date: May 20, 2007)