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11/7 case: Court refuses to grant adjournment
December 20, 2007 19:53 IST
Refusing to grant additional time to the accused in the July 11 serial blasts to prepare themselves, a special MCOCA court on Thursday discharged the first witness and summoned the second witness in the trial on January 11.
Special MCOCA judge M R Bhatkar had examined the first witness, a police officer at the Borivali railway station, on Tuesday and the accused were to cross examine him in the day.
All the 13 accused have chosen not to engage any defence lawyers. The accused sought additional time to cross-examine the witness, saying that they had been unable to prepare and were not adequately qualified.
However, the court said it had given them sufficient time in the past and despite the accused having the constitutional right to engage a lawyer for their defence, had chosen not to do so.
Thirteen persons, allegedly linked with the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba are accused of carrying out seven near-simultaneous blasts on the Western suburban rail network of the city on July 11 last year. 187 persons were killed and over 700 injured in the blasts.
The accused said they had filed an application before the Bombay High Court alleging they had no faith in the MCOCA court.
Judge Bhatkar said that an order from the High Court clearly stated that the application should not be an impediment in the trial.
The court said that if the accused were willing to accept evidence related to the blasts, the trial could proceed faster. The court directed them to place a written application