Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar were on Monday refused bail in connection with a September 2008 Delhi serial blasts case by a court in New Delhi which allowed the plea of police seeking 15 days time to complete its probe against them.
Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash dismissed the bail plea of Bhatkal and Akhtar which was filed on the ground that special cell of Delhi Police has not filed any supplementary charge sheet against them in the stipulated 90 days period since their arrest in the case on December 10 last year.
"I have seen the file and find no ground to grant statutory bail to both the accused persons as under section 167(2) CrPC, the period of 90 days has been extended to 180 days and the statutory bail lies only on 180 days or after.
"Therefore, the benefit under section 167(2) CrPC is not available to the present accused/applicant. The present bail application is accordingly dismissed," the judge said.
In their bail plea filed through advocate M S Khan, both the accused had said "the state (police) is intending to seek further extension of period of investigation from 90 days under section 43-D of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and applicants are seeking statutory bail as indefeasible right in their favour."
During the hearing, advocate Khan opposed the plea of police seeking extension of time to conclude the probe saying it cannot be extended without the physical appearance of the accused before the court.
Bhatkal and Akhtar did not appear before the court as they are under the custody of Maharashtra ATS in connection with the cases lodged against them there.
The police, while seeking extension of time, said Akhtar has given out vital information about Ariz Khan, one of the accused in the case, and "operation to trace/apprehend him is underway."
13 suspected members of IM are facing trial in the case of September 2008 Delhi serial blasts that had claimed 26 lives and left 135 people injured.
Delhi Police, in their application seeking extension of time to conclude its probe against Bhatkal and Akhtar, said the sanction to prosecute the accused under the UAPA and the Explosive Substances Act was "still awaited".
"An input has been received regarding the detention of one more suspect involved in this case in a West Asian country. Necessary coordination is being established with the central intelligence agencies to confirm the identity of this suspect so that necessary legal information for his extradition/deportation can be taken up expeditiously," it said.
Bhatkal and Akhtar were arrested by National Investigation Agency from Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28 last year.
Delhi Police had arrested them in connection with the case in which a bomb had exploded in an auto-rickshaw in Karol Bagh on September 13, 2008, in which some people had died.
Out of the 29 accused, who were suspected to be involved in the serial blasts, 15 persons, including Bhatkal and Akhtar have been arrested.
Five cases were lodged in connection with the blasts at Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh, Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place, M-Block Market in Greater Kailash and recovery of a bomb near India Gate.
All the five cases were clubbed by the trial court for the purpose of framing of charges and trial saying "they arise from the series of same transaction".
The 13 accused facing trial in the case are Mohd Shakeel, Mohd Saif, Zeeshan Ahmed, Zia-ur-Rehaman, Saquib Nisar, Mohd Sadique, Kayamuddin Kapadia, Mohd Hakim, Mohd Mansoor Ashgar Peerbhoy, Mubin Kadar Sheikh, Asif Bashiruddin, Mohd Akbar Ismail Chaudhary and Shahzad Ahmed.
Image: Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal