Delhi blast acquittals

At a time when India is putting pressure on the international community to act against terror masterminds living in Pakistan, the acquittal of yet another set of the accused in the 2005 Delhi serial blasts suggests that the prosecution system is not working the way it should. The acquittal of two of the three accused of the serial bombing in Delhi on the eve of Diwali in 2005 is on the long list of similar judgments in high-profile terror cases. By then the reputation of the accused has been besmirched and they had spent a decade or more in jails as undertrials. On the other side of the fence, assorted police officials had already taken credit for “cracking open the case”, careers made of journalists and security analysts while diplomats had railed against “safe havens of terror” in neighbouring countries. 

The record of those supposedly soft on terrorism (Congress) and the ones avowedly with zero tolerance towards terror (BJP) has been the same. The government claims many acquittals cannot be termed “honourable”. The accused are let off because of varied appreciation of the strength of evidence by the prosecution and the courts. But by then the country’s social fabric had been damaged because the media had swallowed the initial police version. As a result, an entire community gets tarred by the brush of culpability. 

In the 2005 Delhi blast case, the “bus bomber” was writing his examination on the day of the incident, and several others with the suggestive nom de guerre of “Abu” had conveniently escaped to Pakistan. It is time to apply correctives because many judgments have pointed out that evidence presented by the prosecution was unreliable, shoddy or concocted. Such acquittals also question the credibility and reputation of the country because these cases are presented to the international community as proof of Pakistan’s culpability in fomenting terror. For a start, entries should be made in the confidential reports of police officers who claim to have busted terror rings. If this is done, either the quality of prosecution will improve or top officers won’t be able to use the initial claims for career advancement. 

The Article First Appeared In The Tribune

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