Citing security reasons, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday opposed the plea of Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, alleged LeT operative, urging that he be removed from the solitary confinement of a cell in Arthur Road Central prison and be kept with other undertrials.
Jundal, facing charges in 26/11 terror case, is currently lodged in a special cell where Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who was sent to the gallows, was earlier lodged.
According to prosecution, Jundal had taught Hindi to Kasab and other terrorists and was handling them from the control room in Pakistan at the relevant time when the deadly attacks were in progress in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
The state government told the high court on Wednesday that Jundal has been confined to a solitary cell due to security reasons and cited a confidential report on the basis of which such a step was taken.
However, a bench of Justices P V Hardas and Mridhula Bhatkar asked the State to file an affidavit and adjourned the matter to June 10 after the summer vacations.
According to his application filed though advocate, Ejaz Naqvi, the applicant (Jundal) has been kept in solitary confinement for over six months.
He pleaded that like all undertrials, he should also be kept in the common barracks and allowed certain privileges extended to other prisoners.
Jundal also claimed that he is mentally unfit and was under medication when he was lodged at Tihar jail in Delhi.
During the hearing, the bench asked the State to inform whether Jundal was on death row and what kind of prisoners are subjected to solitary confinement.
The state, however, said that they had taken the step due to security issues and cited a confidential report based on which the move was made. However, the Court asked the authorities to file an affidavit in this regard.
The trial of Jundal in the 26/11 case is yet to begin.