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What about Yusuf Muzzamil and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhwi?

By Vicky Nanjappa
February 25, 2009 20:02 IST
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The mammoth chargesheet in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case has been filed, and the city police can try three people with immediate effect -- Ajmal Kasab, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed.

However, what would happen to the likes of Yusuf Muzzamil and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhwi who find a mention in the chargesheet as the key conspirators? The satellite phone transcripts and various confessional statements prove their role in the case.

Muzzamil and Lakhwi have been shown as absconding in the chargesheet which was filed by the Mumbai police on Wednesday before the magistrate.

The two Pakistan-based terrorists find a mention in column two of the chargesheet. This particular provision is made available for those accused who are absconding.

Since these men are in Pakistan they cannot be produced before the court for trial immediately and hence their names will be shown in column two of the chargesheet which deals with accused as absconding.

So what does the court do with the accused whose names figure in column two of the chargesheet?

When the trial in this case commences, the court will first issue a non-bailable warrant against them and direct the police to secure their presence. However, there will be no delay in the commencement of the trial as these two men are absconding.

There is a provision under the law to split up the case and try the available accused separately. The charges and trial against those men shown as absconding will be put on hold until they are produced before the court of law, say legal experts.

The police would have to file a status report on the missing persons who will be shown as Wanted, from time to time before the court.

The next procedure would be to issue a red corner alert against the missing accused with the help of Interpol.

However, even if that does not succeed, then the court will order the seizure of property of the missing accused.

Under this provision, all the property belonging to the accused will be seized by the court. However, this provision may not apply in this case since both Muzzamil and Lakhwi have no known property in India.

The next provision would be to seek extradition of the accused through diplomatic pressure. In the present case, the Indian security agencies will take all the help it requires from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation which has found ample proof against both Muzzamil and Lakhwi in the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai.

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