The 26/11 special court has come down heavily on the prosecution and investigating agency for submitting "doubtful" and "fragile" evidence against accused Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed that led to their acquittal in the Mumbai terror attack case.
"The evidence of the only prosecution witness is doubtful and unreliable. The investigating agency has failed to provide quality evidence against the duo (Faheem and Sabauddin)," the 1600-page judgment, a copy of which is with PTI, said.
The court had acquitted Faheem and Sabauddin on May 3 by giving them the benefit of doubt. Witness Nooruddin Shaikh had deposed in court that he and another person, Bharat Thakur, had travelled to Nepal in January 2008 where he saw Ansari hand over maps of Mumbai target locations to Sabauddin at a Kathmandu guesthouse.
According to the prosecution, these maps were used by the Pakistani terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, and one such map
was found in the trouser pocket of slain terrorist Abu Ismail.
"Shaikh has not produced any documentary evidence of his travel and stay at Nepal. The witness has admitted that a record is maintained at Sonavali border with regard to entry of persons into Nepal. He was not able to produce any entry slip. The investigating agency has not made any attempt to collect this evidence and not even tried to verify if Shaikh had visited Nepal," the court observed.
"The prosecution has also not examined Bharat Thakur to corroborate Shaikh's evidence. The prosecution's explanation that Thakur is not traceable is very feeble and does not appeal to the court's reason," the judgement states, adding Thakur was one of the most important witnesses to prove the prosecution's case against Faheem and Sabauddin.
The court accepted the arguments of Faheem's lawyer R B Mokashi that there were no wrinkles or bloodstains on the map recovered from the body of Ismail.
"In my consideration, had the map remained in the trouser pocket of Ismail for such a long time it would have in fact been spoiled to a large extent. This evidence is thus highly doubtful," Judge Tahaliyani observed.
All the evidences submitted by the prosecution to connect Faheem and Sabauddin to the 26/11 terror attack case are found to be "doubtful and tainted", the court remarked.
"There are many loose ends and there is scope of doubting each and every piece of evidence. I do not think such fragile pieces of evidence are sufficient to prove the charges against Faheem and Sabauddin," it states.
"The main conspirators had used best available technology like VOIP and Google Earth. Therefore this rustic sketch map allegedly prepared by Faheem does not fit in the scheme of the conspirators," Judge Tahaliyani observed.