The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad has failed on three occasions to get Sabahuddin and Fahim Ansari a conviction in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case.For the third time (first by the sessions court, then the Bombay high court, and now the Supreme Court) the investigating agency was told that there is no proof what so ever and there is nothing that has been done to corroborate the evidence against the duo.
Advocate Ejaz Naqvi, who represented Sabahuddin, was elated at the verdict, but also added that the next legal step they are about to embark upon is a compensation suit.
"My client has been harassed and the time he has spent in jail for a false case that the ATS booked against him and Fahim ensured that they remained in jail for so long for no fault of theirs. We will seek compensation," he said.
The ATS immediately after the 26/11 attacks picked up the two men and claimed that they were the ones who carried out the survey of the megapolis which facilitated the attackers.
During the trial they produced some vague evidence and most hilarious of all the evidence was the map which they claimed was found on the duo. Interestingly the map had a vague diagram and did not have even a single crease on it and looked brand new.
Moreover, there was a confession statement of the duo which they relied heavily on, in which they did speak about an attack of this nature. However these confessions were considered to be made under duress and it was never accepted by the court.
The ATS was also unable to prove the guilt of the two persons and were never able to establish if they were in contact with any of the planners during the attacks. Moreover, the case became weaker when the arrested Pakistani-American Let operative David Headley's revelation came to light.
Not to walk free as yet
However, both Fahim and Sababhuddin will not be able to walk free following Wednesday's verdict. When one looks at both the cases, the road ahead for Fahim appears to be easier when compared to Sabahuddin.
Fahim and Sabahuddin are both accused in the CRPF Rampur attack case. However, there are charges under Sections 420, 469 and 471 against Fahim Ansari.
These charges against him deal with a passport forgery case. His offences amount to impersonation, cheating and forgery. The investigators are yet to file a charge under terrorism against him.
However Sabahuddin apart from charges of terrorism in the CRPF case is also the main accused in the India Institute of Science attack case at Bangalore.
The trial in both the IISC case is yet to commence and he will have to remain in jail until the trial is complete.
In so far as the Rampur case is concerned, both will have to stand for trial for quite some time since the court has just completed recording the evidence. There has been a bit of a delay with the defence arguing that all the witnesses in the case are that of the police and there are no independent witnesses in this case.
"In so far as the IISC case, we had written two years back that the trial would commence soon, but the fact is that it is yet to start off," Naqvi said.
There is some more problem in this case regarding another accused, Abu Hamza. Earlier it was said that they need more information since Hamza is hiding in Pakistan.
Hamza who was also a handler in the 26/11 attacks case was named by Kasab too during his interrogation.
But during the investigation of Abu Jundal, the police were told that Hamza had died two years back. This claim is, however, disputed by the intelligence agencies who feel that he is saying this to divert their attention.