The acquittal of Sabahuddin and Fahim Ansari by the Bombay high court in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case has not guaranteed the freedom of these two men. The two suspects were taken to Uttar Pradesh where they are facing allegations of taking part in the January 1, 2008 attack on a Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur.
Sabahuddin also face charges in another case too. In addition to the Rampur case, he faces charges in the Indian Institute of Science attack case in Bengaluru. They will be lodged in a jail in Uttar Pradesh and will have to remain there until the Rampur trial is complete.
There is a long legal battle ahead of these two men. In both the Rampur and the IISc cases, charges are yet to be framed and the trial would commence once this is done. In addition, the two will also have to defend themselves against the special leave petition that will be filed by the Maharashtra government, before the Supreme Court in the 26/11 case.
The Maharashtra government had decided to go in an appeal against the acquittal order of the Bombay high court, which absolved the two men of all charges in connection with the 26/11 case. Sabahuddin's advocate, Ejaz Naqvi said that the focus is currently on filing a petition, seeking compensation from the state of Maharashtra.
"We would like to complete this job first and also make the prosecutor, Ujwal Nikam liable, since he had filed the appeal before the high court in his name, when it should have been done by an investigating police official," said Naqvi.
As far as the Rampur case is concerned, the line of arguments would be that evidence was planted against Sabahuddin and there is no independent panch witness. All of them are police witnesses, and there are no independent witnesses.
Where the IISC case is concerned, the trial is expected to start soon. However, in this case too, there is a problem regarding the main accused in the case, Abu Hamza. The defence points out that Hamza is hiding in Karachi, Pakistan, and no red corner notice has been issued against him, which shows how serious the investigation is.