A special court in Mumbai on Tuesday asked 13 accused in the July 11, 2006 train bombings case to produce an order from a competent court to transfer their trial to another judge and adjourned the hearing till August 21.
Judge Mrudula Bhatkar of the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court, who framed charges against the accused on Monday, said if the accused did not have faith in her court regarding an impartial trial, they could approach a competent court for transferring the trial to another judge. She also granted them 15 days' time for this.
The accused do not have the option to choose whether to participate in legal proceedings during the trial, she observed.
Declining to accept the charges framed against them on Monday, all the accused had refused to sign the form recording their plea. They either cited lack of faith in Bhatkar's court or sought the transfer of the case to another Court.
The accused have been charged under the MCOCA, IPC, Railways Act, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosives Substances Act.
The accused, allegedly linked to terror group Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India, have been accused of carrying out seven blasts in suburban trains last year that killed 187 and injured 824.
The 13 accused are Kamal Ansari, Tanvir Ansari, Faisal Shaikh, Ehtesham Siddqui, Mohammed Majid Shafi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali Shaikh, Sajid Ansari, Abdul Wahid Shaikh, Muzzamil Shaikh, Soheil Shaikh, Zameer Ahmed Shaikh, Naveed Hussain Khan and Asif Bashir Khan.
Two other accused were killed, one during the blasts and another during a shootout with police. Fifteen others, including senior Lashkar-e-Tayiba operatives Azam Cheema and Rizwan Dawrey, are wanted for the bombings.