Karnataka Government on Friday told the Supreme Court that People's Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Madani, a key accused in the Bangalore bomb blast case, could pose a major threat to national security if released on bail.
Appearing before a bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra, senior counsel T R Andhiarujina disputed the claim of Madani that he was suffering from a host of ailments necessitating his release on bail.
"The medical illness and ailments claimed by him are a smokescreen to come out on bail and engage in fresh conspiracies," the counsel told the bench. The counsel added that Madani was the key conspirator in not only the Bangalore blasts but also Surat and Ahmedabad bomb blasts.
The counsel made the submission after Justice Katju, heading the bench, indicated that the court may grant bail to Madani on medical grounds, though not on merit, as he was on a wheelchair and suffering from a host of medical problems such as slip disc, spondylyitis, hypertension etc.
However, senior counsel Shanti Bhushan appearing for Madani alleged that his client was innocent and falsely implicated. Bhushan said that Madani was kept in prison for over nine-and-half years in connection with Coimbatore bomb blasts but was eventually acquitted by the court.
The apex court after hearing the arguments asked Karnataka to file its objections in an affidavit and asked adani to file his reply by Tuesday while posting the matter for further hearing to next Wednesday.
At the last hearing too Justice Katju expressed surprise as to how a person on a wheel chair could pose a threat if released on bail. Two persons were killed and 20 injured when serial blasts rocked Bangalore city in nine locations in 2008.
However, Justice Misra pointed out that the accused was facing the serious charge of being involved in the blasts which claimed lives. On February 11, the Karnataka High Court had rejected Madani's plea on the ground that if bail was granted to him it would put the security of the state and the nation in jeopardy.
But the High Court directed jail authorities to take steps to ensure that Madani's health condition, who is disabled and suffering from different ailments, does not deteriorate and he is given necessary medical help.
The court said available material and statements of witnesses indicated that Madani was in constant touch with the other accused before and after the blasts and also harboured some of them by giving them shelter in his orphanage in Kerala.
On the contention of senior defence counsel B V Acharya that there was "no direct evidence" of Madani''s involvement in the criminal conspiracy, the High Court had said, "There is seldom ever that direct evidence is there in such cases. Conspiracy by very nature is hatched in complete secrecy otherwise the whole purpose will be frustrated."Madani, arrested in Kerala on August 17 last year, is lodged in Central Jail, Bangaluru. He was one of the main accused in the 1998 Coimbatore serial lasts that killed 58 people but was acquitted.