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Mulund blast accused gets bail

January 19, 2007 20:46 IST

The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to Arif Hussain Shabbir Hussain alias Arif Panwala, an accused in 2003 Mulund bomb blast case.

Saying that there wasn't enough evidence against him to keep him in jail, division bench of Justices J N Patel and R S Mohite granted Panwala bail on a sum of Rs 1 lakh.

He will also have to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each.

Panwala is the second accused in the case to get bail, after Atif Mullah, who got bail last year.

Eleven persons were killed and 10 injured in a blast in local train compartment at Mulund on March 13, 2003.

The police's case is that the blast was linked to blasts at Vile Parle and Mumbai Central, and engineered by the same group.

Along with Panwala, 15 others were arrested, under POTA, in connection with the three blasts.

He is accused of facilitating the Mulund blast, as well as being part of the conspiracy to carry out other blasts.

He is also charged with providing shelter to prime accused Jenab Paloba -- who is absconding -- on the basis of confessional statement of co-accused Noor Mohammad Ansari.

Apart from this confession, the prosecution is relying on records of phone calls made to other conspirators from PCO at Panwala's shop.

But Panwala's lawyer Baba Chitnis pleaded that co -accused's confessional statement could not be used against another accused, as laid down by the Supreme Court in the recent Parliament attack judgement.

The judges upheld his argument that evidence against him was not enough to keep him in jail three years after the arrest. Trial of the case has been stayed by the Supreme Court.

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